Omicron: UK’s Decision Is Discriminatory, Punitive -FG

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has faulted the decision of the United Kingdom to place Nigeria on its red list saying it is unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who made this known on Monday at a press briefing in Abuja said, their decision is not driven by science.

TheFact Nigeria notes that the United Kingdom has added Nigeria to its red list countries and will enforce stricter entry rules starting Monday, December 6 over concerns of an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

However the Minister expressed the belief that the Presidential Steering Committee will respond to the decision by the UK.

“As you are aware, Britain has put Nigeria on its red list and banned foreign travels from our country. This is as a result of the discovery of COVID-19 cases – Omicron variant – in Nigeria. Britain now joins other countries, including Canada, which have taken similar action against Nigeria over Omicron.

“Let me say straight away that it’s up to the Presidential Steering Committee to respond to this action by the British government and others, and I have no doubt that the Committee will respond appropriately.

“However, as the Spokesman for the Federal Government, I can say, without mincing words, that the decision by the British government to put Nigeria on the red list, just because of less than two dozen cases of Omicron which, by the way, did not originate in Nigeria, is unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory. The decision is also not driven by science.”

Mohammed said countries should rather focus on ensuring vaccine equity rather than take “knee-jerk” reactions against Africa “that can only be detrimental to our quest to most conclusively tackle this pandemic.”

“Instead of these reflex responses that are driven by fear, rather than science, why can’t the world take a serious look at the issue of access to vaccines, and ensure that it is based on the principles grounded in the right of every human to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, political belief, economic or any other social condition.

“Nigeria has handled the Covid-19 pandemic with utmost responsibility and based on science, and has rightly earned global accolades for its efforts. Nigeria does not belong on any country’s red list,” he said.

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