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Joe Biden orders travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other nations COVID-19

Joe Biden orders travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other nations

IBNS | @indiablooms | 27 Nov 2021, 07:30 pm

Washington/UNI: US President Joe Biden has ordered additional air travel restrictions from South Africa and seven other countries, as a new COVID-19 variant, called B.1.1.529, emerged from the country.

On the advice of Dr Anthony Fauci and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US placed restrictions on travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi, CNN reported.

The President has also urged countries attending the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting on Nov 30 in Geneva to waive intellectual property protections on coronavirus vaccines.

“I call on the nations gathering next week for the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for Covid vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally,” Biden’s statement read.

“I endorsed this position in April; this news today reiterates the importance of moving on this quickly,” it said.

Recently, a South Africa-Netherlands flight arriving in Amsterdam reported 61 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases, Dutch officials said.

Emergence of the new variant was reported just days before WTO officials and 164 member states are scheduled to meet.

On Friday, Biden stated that the discovery of the new covid variant demonstrates that the pandemic will not end until the entire world has equal access to coronavirus vaccines.

India and South Africa have earlier proposed to waive intellectual property (IP) rights for COVID-19 vaccines and supplies.

The European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland have opposed such a move.

Switzerland’s ambassador to the WTO, Didier Chambovey, on Thursday said the country was open to compromise but remained opposed to a full waiver, reports Al Jazeera.