United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says he is “deeply concerned” by travel bans on southern Africa.
In astatement shared by his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric, he added that the lack of vaccines in those countries was a factor in the emergence of the new variant.
“The people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available in Africa – and they should not be penalised for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world,” the UN chief said.
Mr Dujarric further explained in a press briefing that the UN chief viewed the “blanket barring of certain citizens” as a “form of collective punishment”.
The UN chief has appealed to governments to consider scientific-based solutions such as increased testing and quarantine, if need be.