President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina has advised world leaders not to label or penalise African nations for new COVID-19 variants and mutations happening across the world.
He stated this in a series of tweets on Sunday in the wake of the new COVID-19 variant spreading and causing panic.
On Thursday, South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced the discovery of the new variant of coronavirus, known as B.1.1.529. The World Health Organisation (WHO) later tagged it “Omicron” and designated it a ‘variant of concern’ (VOC) because of its “concerning” number of mutations.
Since the discovery, many nations have rushed to place travel restrictions on South Africa and other countries in the region.
Also Read: New COVID Variant Found In South Africa
He stated that Africa is not the source of the COVID-19 pandemic and should not be penalised for new variants, urging for global justice, equity, and fairness in access to vaccines.
“Africa should not be labelled and penalized for COVID-19 variants and mutations that occur randomly elsewhere in the world. Africa is not the source of COVID-19,” he tweeted.
“There must be global justice, equity & fairness in access to vaccines. Global vaccine supply system has underserved Africa. Protecting one’s home alone in the midst of a forest fire does not work. Put out the forest fire.
“Africa must accelerate the manufacturing of its own vaccines & set up its own “healthcare security defence system”. Africa must no longer outsource health security of its 1.8 billion people to the benevolence of others.”