Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro appears to reject the call for new variant travel curbs, according to Al Jazeera. WHO has classified the new coronavirus variant as a ‘variant of concern.’
Bolsonaro Rejects New Variant Travel Curbs
The health regulatory authorities in Brazil have suggested curbing travel from some African countries as the new variant detection spikes. The European Union and the UK are already restricting border controls as scientists are trying to figure out if the new variant is vaccine-resistant.
Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa suggested on Friday to suspend flight operations from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, and Zimbabwe after the government approves. But President Bolsonaro does not seem to accept the new variant travel curbs.
“Given the epidemiological impact that the new variant could have on the global situation, we recommend, as a preventive measure, the immediate suspension of all flights from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe,” stated health regulator Anvisa.
Bolsonaro Criticized Over COVID pandemic
Bolsonaro has been under intense criticism on his COVID pandemic management. Over 459,000 people lost their lives in South America for which he faced strong criticism from the public for mishandling the COVID situations. He denounced lockdowns and curfews, was against wearing masks in public as well as refused to get vaccinated.
It is Already There
“What madness is this?” Bolsonaro said to people when asked about travel restrictions. “The virus doesn’t come in if you close the airport. It is already here.”
The health regulatory believes that the new variant appears to have higher transmissibility. Brazil witnessed the second deadliest situation from the pandemic, the first being the US, with more than 613,000 deaths.
The new coronavirus variant sparked global concern on Friday as countries announced travel suspensions from southern Africa. Stock markets also suffered huge losses in more than a year.