(Video) South African President visits Nigeria canvasses against travel bans
Speaking during a visit with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Ramaphosa called on countries to lift “unscientific” flight bans.
“This is a global pandemic and overcoming it requires that we collaborate and work together as a collective,” he told reporters with Buhari by his side.
“The resulting damage of this travel ban to the economies of the countries affected will be considerable and long-lasting.”
France said Wednesday it would start allowing flights from southern Africa to land on its territory from Saturday, but with “drastic” restrictions allowing only French and EU residents to disembark, along with diplomats and flight crews.
Those travellers will need a Covid test upon arrival, with a negative result still requiring a seven-day quarantine, while a positive test will require a 10-day quarantine, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said.
The coronavirus outbreak has killed 2,976 people and infected 214,113 in Nigeria, according to official statistics, but the real figures are believed to be much higher, in part because of low testing rates.
Home to around 210 million people, the West African nation has launched vaccination campaigns and requires civil servants to show proof of jabs or a negative test to enter public buildings.
But vaccination rates remain low, with just over 6.5 million people given one shot and about 3.5 million people given two shots.
The government said it plans to inoculate around 112 million people, amounting to 70 percent of the adult population, by the end of next year.