South Korea imposes travel ban on Ghana over Omicron fears

Young woman at the airport in Barcelona checking for the flight schedule

South Korea has expanded its entry ban to two additional African countries on Wednesday amid growing concerns over the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.

From Friday to next Thursday, short-term foreign arrivals from Ghana and Zambia will be banned, health officials in South Korea announced.

South Korean nationals and long-term foreign arrivals from these countries will face a mandatory 10-day quarantine, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status, Yonhap news agency reported.

Effective November 28, South Korea had earlier banned foreign entries from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and Nigeria. So far, South Korea has confirmed 38 omicron cases.

In a related development, India has added Ghana and Tanzania to its ‘at-risk’ countries which means passengers from these nations will have to follow additional COVID-19 testing and quarantine measures.

Other nations on the list are UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and Israel.

Meanwhile, Health authorities in Ghana on Thursday said vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory for international travellers before entering the country as part of efforts to control the spread of the disease.

The directive takes effect Sunday, 12 December 2021 at the only international airport in the capital, Accra, the Ghana Health Service said in a statement.

“All persons 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for a COVID-19 vaccine,” the head of the health service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said.

“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021, are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.

“All Ghanaians travelling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effective midnight 12th December 2021,” the statement added.

The Ghana Health Service said it reviewed the COVID-19 protocols for international travellers because the airport is fast becoming a hub for the spread of the virus.

“In November 2020, 168 cases were detected compared to 241 cases in November 2021, an increase of over 40%. We have since been recording an average of 20 positive cases a day at KIA (Kotoka International Airport),” Kuma-Aboagye said.

Close to six million out of a total population of 31 million have vaccinated in the West African country following the confirmation of 131, 246 coronavirus cases since March 2020. It has recorded 1,228 deaths and close to 130,000 recoveries. 

Below is the full statement:

Source: Daily Mail GH

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