U.S. To Join Europe in New COVID Restrictions on Travel from African Nations
Nov. 27, 2021 (EIRNS)—President Joe Biden met with his pandemic team on Nov. 26, and announced that new travel restrictions from Southern Africa would be activated on Nov. 29. The Omicron variant has set off such a shock wave that even Biden is now paying lip service to the idea that the pandemic won’t be stopped until the entire world is vaccinated and free of virus. “The news about this new variant should make clearer than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global vaccinations,” Biden said in a statement. Moreover, “This news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly,” referring to waiving intellectual property protections.
Reuters reported this morning that, “so far, the Omicron variant has been detected in Botswana, South Africa, Hong Kong, Belgium and Israel. The infected person in Belgium had traveled recently to Egypt and Turkey and the Israeli patient recently visited Malawi.” The White House said the U.S. will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi, according to a statement, yesterday. Reuters also wrote that
“several nations, including Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Japan, have responded to news of the variant by moving Friday to restrict air travel from several southern African countries. The European Union, which is made up of 27 nations, is also recommending a ban on flights from Southern African countries.”
Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech issued a statement yesterday that their COVID-19 vaccines could be tweaked and produced within 100 days to counter a “vaccine-escape” variant. “In the event that vaccine-escape variant emerges, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval.”