Saturday, January 29, 2022

Govt lifts travel ban on African countries, citing Omicron spread

However, the eight countries will remain on a list of nations deemed as high-risk.

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The government has lifted the travel ban on eight southern African countries that had first reported the Omicron variant of the coronvirus, citing the greater spread of the variant worldwide, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

The eight countries, which include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, will remain on a list of nations deemed as high-risk, with travellers from those nations subject to additional restrictions upon arrival, Khairy told reporters.

Khairy said given the rapid spread of the variant globally, there was no reason to continue with a travel ban against countries in Africa.

Authorities have detected 306 suspected Omicron cases out of 366 samples from travellers who had tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival between Dec 21 and 25, he said.

“We are still waiting for results from the whole genome sequencing to confirm,” he said, adding that Malaysia has reported only one confirmed case of local transmission so far.

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