African countries have limited their exposure to the coronavirus and want to keep it that way by issuing travel bans to Europe and America.
CNN reported that several African countries, in addition to school closing and social distancing, are restricting travel to ward off people coming from places that have large numbers of those infected with the coronavirus. Sudan has sealed all of its ports, airports and land crossings.
In total, seven people have died thus far from the global pandemic in the region. This is from the 347 coronavirus cases that are known from the 27 African countries, according to the World Health Organization.
Egypt has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Africa with 126. Algeria, South Africa, and Morocco also have cases on the rise.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africans Sunday and declared it to be a “national state of disaster.” The nation has 61 cases confirmed.
Ramaphosa said there could be no half measures. Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and China will be banned from travel into South Africa for the time being.
“We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy,” he said.
Egypt announced the suspension of flights from all its airports starting Thursday to stop the disease from spreading. Djibouti has not yet been impacted by the disease but still suspended all international flights to the country.
However, WHO has come out against the travel bans and believe it is hysteria fueled.
“The outbreak is evolving. It used to be China and now it is Italy and other countries are following after it. So we must be careful because we have seen an increasing number of countries imposing travel restrictions, and that means their perception of risks have changed,” WHO Africa’s Dr. Mary Stephen told CNN.
“But have they done a risk assessment to their countries or are they just implementing those measures based on their perception?”
Nonetheless, the African countries believe they are acting in the best interests of their people by closing schools and closing their borders. They will continue to do so despite the hits to tourism. Kenya’s Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala acknowledged their economy would be “hit badly,” and that the government would need to pump money back into it.
The crisis is taking precedence.
“Listen to the plea of the people of Cameroon and close the border and quarantine everyone coming into the country. Countries that heavily depend on tourism have done so,” Chapafac Christwadle tweeted.