AFRICAN COORDINATION REQUIRED ON HOW TO STEM THE CORONA VIRUS TIDE AND REACT TO ARRIVING PASSENGERS
(Posted 07th March 2020)
ATCNews in recent days has, through our social media platforms, provided regular information and updates about the spread of the disease, both globally and across Africa, where presently 9 countries have reported the presence of the virus within their borders.
Progressively are countries now acting, largely still on their own instead of using their regional and especially continental bodies to coordinate their responses, with various levels of travel advisories and reactions.
Seychelles and Mauritius have put in place clear advisories about travelers from certain countries no longer being permitted into their jurisdiction, with Seychelles taking the more transparent route unlike Mauritius which two weeks ago halted an arriving Alitalia flight before, after hours of anxiety, returning a large number of passengers back home.
Kenya yesterday cancelled all meetings with international participation for the time being, but remains vague on the arrival of ordinary tourists from outbreak countries other than China, South Korea, Iran and Italy.
Uganda too has cancelled several international meetings, such as the huge UN G77 Summit and the UN Climate Summit Africa, while an EU meeting for the business communities of Europe and Uganda is reportedly still on for next week at the conference hub of Munyonyo.
In fact did Uganda’s Ministry of Health just an hour ago issue another directive which reads on Twitter: People residing in the 7 countries; #Italy, #Iran, #South Korea, #France, #China, #Germany, and #Spain should consider postponing non-essential travel to #Uganda.
Uganda will also observe travelers from #UK, #Switzerland, #Norway, #Netherlands, #Sweden, #Belgium, #India, and #USA very closely and the evolution of the outbreak in these countries and advise on any restrictions in the coming weeks.
Alternatively may travelers from these countries be subjected to quarantine on arrival which would be negating the purpose of their visit to Uganda.
South Africa has given updates to travelers heading to the country and even Zimbabwe has now made their stand official. In fact does Zimbabwe in their notice recommend to refrain from all ‘unnecessary travel to and from countries with confirmed cases of COVID19′, contradicting UNWTO and WHO recommendations.
(Since this statement was released was the first case reported in Durban / South Africa)
Tourism travel trade show organizers in South Africa just two days ago confirmed that their events will go ahead as #Atta has published a list of meetings across Africa which are presently still on course to take place.
That too might change of course in the coming days and weeks if more infections are reported from the source countries of attendees and should COVID19 spread beyond the present case(s) in Durban and reach such population hubs like Cape Town, Johannesburg or other conference venue locations.
Both WHO and CDC are providing regular updates on the spread of the disease and readers should be certain of what they repost or report ‘as fact‘ when more often than not they fall for unsubstantiated rumours.