The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that African countries should not be penalised for the Omicron COVID-19 variants and other mutations across the world.
Adesina said this in a tweet on Sunday, following the travel ban imposed on Southern African countries by the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and some Asian countries as part of an emergency response to the recently-discovered B.1.1.529 strain of COVID-19, first detected in South Africa.
Adesina stated that Africa is not the source of COVID-19 which was first discovered in Wuhan, China, some two years ago.
His tweets read, “Africa should not be labelled and penalized for COVID-19 variants and mutations that occur randomly elsewhere in the world. Africa is not the source of COVID-19.
Adesina also campaigned for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa and other parts of the world even as he encouraged African nations to start manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccines.
“There must be global justice, equity and fairness in access to vaccines. Global vaccine supply system has under served Africa. Protecting one’s home alone in the midst of a forest fire does not work. Put out the forest fire.
“Africa must accelerate the manufacturing of its own vaccines and set up its own ‘healthcare security defence system’. Africa must no longer outsource health security of its 1.8 billion people to the benevolence of others,” his tweet read.
Recall that the World Health Organisation, WHO had on Friday declared the new COVID-19 strain first discovered in South Africa to be a variant of concern and renamed it Omicron.