The Democratic Alliance (DA) urges the South African government to impose travel restrictions from India immediately.
DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Angel Khanyile, said the ban should include to halt direct and connecting flights from India to South Africa, as well as restrictions at seaports and land borders.
“Restrictions should permit only repatriation flights from India to transport South Africans. Repatriation should also be subject to strict self-quarantine for two weeks or the production of a negative CoVID-19 test taken after arrival in South Africa, not before leaving,” said Khanyile.
The call comes in the wake of India’s battle against various Covid-19 variants.
According to reports, India’s top scientific advisor cautioned on Wednesday that the world will eventually face more waves of the coronavirus pandemic after nearly 4,000 people died in a single day.
Although Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said yesterday that the variant has yet to be identified in South Africa, two separate incidents of people travelling from India testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours have already occurred.
“It would be irresponsible of the government to wait until this variant reaches our shores before taking action. A reactionary approach would be criminal, particularly given the lack of clarification on the severity of B.1.617 and whether current vaccinations are successful against the strain,” Khanyile added.
The World Health Organisation said in a weekly report that India accounted for nearly half of the coronavirus cases reported worldwide, and a quarter of the deaths in the past week, as hospitals scrambled for beds and oxygen in response to a deadly second surge in infections.