Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa is not the source of COVID-19 which was first discovered, in Wuhan, China.
Adesina, who a global campaigner for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, also said that Africa should not be punished for the Omicron COVID-19 variant and other mutations that occur randomly anywhere in the world.
The AfDB helmsman said this in a three-part tweet, on Sunday, following the travel ban imposed on Southern African countries by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the European Union and some Asian countries as part of an emergency response to the recently-discovered B.1.1.529 strain of COVID-19, first detected in South Africa.
Adesina tweeted, “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.
“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.”
Recall that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had, last Friday, declared the new COVID-19 strain first discovered in South Africa to be a variant of concern and renamed it Omicron.
The classification puts Omicron into the most-troubling category of COVID-19 variants, along with the globally-dominant Delta, plus its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta and Gamma.