Omicron Variant: South Korea bans travelling from Ghana

South Korea has expanded its entry ban to two additional African countries on Wednesday amid growing concerns over the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.

From Friday to next Thursday, short-term foreign arrivals from Ghana and Zambia will be banned, health officials in South Korea announced.

South Korean nationals and long-term foreign arrivals from these countries will face a mandatory 10-day quarantine, regardless of their Covid-19 vaccination status, Yonhap news agency reported.

Effective November 28, South Korea had earlier banned foreign entries from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and Nigeria. So far, South Korea has confirmed 38 omicron cases.

In a related development, India has added Ghana and Tanzania to its ‘at-risk’ countries which means passengers from these nations will have to follow additional COVID-19 testing and quarantine measures.

Other nations on the list are UK, South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and Israel.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has reviewed COVID-19 protocols for international travellers arriving at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as a result of a surge in cases.

In order to control the spread of the disease, the GHS in a statement on Thursday (9 December) said: “All persons 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for a COVID-19 vaccine.”

It also added: “All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021, are exempted.
However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.

“All Ghanaians travelling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effective midnight 12 December 2021.”

The health service said an average of 20 positive cases are recorded at the airport daily.

“In November 2020, 168 cases were detected compared to 241 cases in November 2021, an increase of over 40%. We have since been recording an average of 20 positive cases a day at KIA,” the statement signed by the director-general, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said.

Asaase Radio