Rwanda has announced that it is suspending direct flights from Southern African countries to prevent the transmission of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

This is despite the Africa Centre for Disease Control warning that travel bans serve little purpose in managing the spread of the coronavirus.

Rwanda, in a statement, said that the variant had not been detected in the country.

Its effects are potentially dangerous and it therefore temporarily suspended flights from Southern African countries and the announcement now means that Rwanda Air has suspended flights to and from JHB, CTN, Lusaka and Harare.

COVID-19 Travel Bans I Travellers stranded at the OR Tambo Airport as flights cancelled

All other arriving passengers arriving in the country must present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as well as a quarantine for 24 hours at their own cost.

Those with a history of travel in southern Africa will be required to quarantine for seven days.

Malawi

On Sunday, the Malawian government said that the travel ban that the United Kingdom, the United States, European Union and other countries have imposed on some southern African countries including South Africa and Malawi is tantamount to Afrophobia and not based on science.

This comes after South African scientists discovered the new and highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

VIDEO: Malawi’s Gospel Kazako responds to travel bans on southern African countries: