Ver Angola

Transports

Covid-19: Angola detects four positive cases on repatriation flight from South Africa

Health authorities detected four cases of covid-19 on the repatriation flight from South Africa, but for the time being there is no confirmed case of the new Omicron variant.

:

The information was provided by the coordinator of the multi-sectorial commission to prevent and combat covid-19, Francisco Furtado, after a meeting of the organ, in Luanda.

"We have to thank God, there is still no confirmed case. There were, indeed, on the repatriation flight that took place on Wednesday from Johannesburg, four positive cases tested here at the airport, but none of them affected by Ómicron", said Furtado .

The Minister of State and head of the House of Security of the President of the Republic also revealed that more repatriation flights will be made, foreseeing a relief from the point of view of circulation due to the large number of Angolans who are in Cape Town and in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Namibia, countries with which the national air carrier TAAG has temporarily suspended connections, as well as with Mozambique.

The minister stated that there is opening of the Government "so as not to completely close the air routes of these countries", with which TAAG should maintain at least one weekly flight.

Regarding the international outcry that has arisen over the suspension of flights, the minister said that Angola did not close its borders, "it made restrictions", following the example of other countries.

"Angola soon came under pressure from Europe that it would close our circulation to the rest of Europe and had to take a precautionary measure to assess the situation," he noted.

After a week, the assessment indicates that there are no "great risks of contagion", Furtado said, adding that "so far" there is no reason for alarmism, which could lead to a easing of restrictions vis-à-vis neighboring countries "because it does not justify maintaining air traffic with countries in the same region is terminated".

In recent days, several African countries have condemned the suspension of flights due to Omicron, linking the restrictions to "afrophobia", criticisms that were reinforced by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, who came out against the 'apartheid' of travel and the isolation of the African continent.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa this week accused African countries of acting like former colonizers by imposing unscientifically based restrictive measures against South Africa after the country's discovery of the micron variant of the coronavirus that causes covid-19.

"In the coming days, we will be able to have a relief not only in the chapter of humanitarian flights, but also in maintaining the stability we had in air traffic with these countries", stressed Francisco Furtado.

The minister also said that Angola has been carrying out an intense vaccination campaign and is among the five countries in Africa that vaccinate the most, stressing the importance of immunization to control the pandemic.

Angola announced last week the temporary suspension of connections with seven African countries — South Africa, Botswana, Essuatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe — from December 1st, which led TAAG to suspend it, on Sunday , its regular flights to Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.