Trevor Noah’s clapback at Omicron travel bans is pure class

02 December 2021 - 11:00
Trevor Noah was not impressed with countries rushing to close their borders to prevent getting the variant, when it was in their country already.
Trevor Noah was not impressed with countries rushing to close their borders to prevent getting the variant, when it was in their country already.
Image: Instagram/ Trevor Noah

SA-born comedian Trevor Noah has taken a dig at countries who shut their borders to SA over the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

SA health experts raised the alarm over the variant after detecting it in the country. Their announcement last week led to several countries implementing travel bans and shutting their borders to SA travellers.

It was classified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and given the name Omicron.

While several countries have eased some of the restrictions, travel bans largely remain in place.

Amid an outcry over the bans, with many claiming it is targeting and “discriminating” against African countries, CBS News reported the variant was present in Europe before it was flagged by SA experts. 

Dutch health authorities announced they found cases of the variant on November 19 and 23. Belgium and Germany also found the variant in their countries before SA's announcement.

Trevor was among those who responded to the report by slamming European countries who had been in a rush to close their borders to prevent Omicron when it was in their country already.

“We’ll take our apology in free plane tickets and hotel stays please!” Trevor joked, with a kissing emoji.

Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lambasted countries across the globe for victimising Southern African countries.

He said the Omicron variant has been found in at least 23 countries and a “blanket travel ban will not prevent the international spread of the virus” but will place “a heavy burden on livelihoods”.

“It is deeply concerning to me that SA and Botswana are being penalised,” he said.

WHO technical lead on Covid-19 Maria van Kerkhove added that scientists in SA “should be commended and we need to strengthen our surveillance and sequencing around the world and have better geographic representation across the planet”.


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