Ghana bans Israel, South Korea and Malta
The government of Ghana has placed a travel ban on Israel, South Korea, and Malta commencing Monday, December 20, as countries continue to battle the deadly coronavirus.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration announced this in separate press statements on Friday, December 17, 2021
The travel ban on Israel and South Korea is expected to last for 14 days.
However, the ban on Malta is indefinite.
This is in line with the government’s drive to control the importation of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 into the country.
In the said statement, the government stated that all travel to and fro Israel is restricted “except in exceptional humanitarian cases or during official visits.”
It added that “Permission would have to be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in exceptional cases.”
For Malta, aside from the indefinite travel ban, the Ministry announced that the government does not recognize any vaccine certificate from Malta.
“The Ministry further wishes to indicate that the government of Ghana does not recognize any vaccine certificate from Malta. To this end, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration wishes to state that the public should take note of the above and adhere to it accordingly.”
Meanwhile, on November 21, Ghana confirmed that two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have been recorded.
The confirmation was made by the Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye in Accra on Wednesday, December 1.
“There is the emergence of the new variant and I must say, through the robust testing at the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana has detected the Omicron variant already and the cases have come mainly from Nigeria and South Africa. The very first case that was detected during our sequencing was on the 21 of November”, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye said at a presser.
The new variant, according to the GHS, has not yet been detected in the communities. However, Dr. Kumah Aboagye mentioned there is the potential of a community spread “if someone has omicron and it’s incubating it will not be detected at the airport”.
He said it is important for all to adhere to all the Covid-19 protocols especially as the festive season nears and more visits are expected.
About the Omicron variant
First identified in Botswana and South Africa, this new iteration of the coronavirus has prompted concern among scientists and public health officials because of an unusually high number of mutations that have the potential to make the virus more transmissible and less susceptible to existing vaccines.
The World Health Organization has called Omicron a “variant of concern” and on Monday warned that the global risks posed by it were “very high,” despite what officials described as a multitude of uncertainties.
Cases have been identified in 20 countries so far, including Britain, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Although Omicron has not yet been detected in the United States, experts say it is only a matter of time before the variant shows up.