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Msitufungie jameni! Uhuru pleads with countries over Omicron variant

“Covid-19 will not be defeated by lockdowns," he said.

In Summary

•Angola has become the first southern African country to suspend flights from its regional neighbours in a bid to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronvirus, its national airline said.

•A long list of countries have shut their borders to the region since South African scientists announced the new coronavirus variant last week.

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he arrived in parliament.
President Uhuru Kenyatta when he arrived in parliament.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on foreign countries not to close their borders over the Omicron variant.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Uhuru pleaded that the boarders be left open.

“Don’t lock the boarders. Msitufungie tena jameni ..No one will be safe from Covid, until we are all safe ,” he said.

“Covid-19 will not be defeated by lockdowns or by shutting off parts of the world that we think are problematic.”

The United States on Friday announced that it will bar entry to most travelers from eight southern African countries starting on Monday.

This was after Omicron, a more contagious new coronavirus variant was identified in South Africa.

The restrictions apply to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Most non-U.S. citizens who have been in those countries within the prior 14 days will not be allowed into the United States.

Angola has also become the first southern African country to suspend flights from its regional neighbours in a bid to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronvirus, its national airline said.

A long list of countries have shut their borders to the region since South African scientists announced the new coronavirus variant last week.

Angola's state-owned TAAG airline on Saturday said it would suspend all flights to Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa from Sunday until further notice.

The suspension is in compliance with the government's decision to temporarily ban air links to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, it said in a statement.