Agribition addresses southern Africa travel concerns about new COVID-19 variant
Representatives from Agribition said there are no international guests participating in the show that travelled from areas in southern Africa where a new coronavirus variant has been identified.
B.1.1.529 was first reported in South Africa on Nov. 24. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated it a variant of concern on Friday and named it “Omicron.”
Chris Lane, the CEO of the Canadian Western Agribition, said the organization canvassed its international room on Friday to see if anyone had been to southern Africa recently, or was planning to travel there.
“Nobody in our international program this year had come from that region or plan to go to that region. I don’t think that is going to have an impact on any of the guests here,” Lane said Saturday.
Lane noted that one guest was a South African national who currently lives in Saskatchewan.
“He hadn’t been to South Africa or southern Africa and isn’t planning on going back immediately anyway, especially now,” Lane said.
The Government of Canada banned the entry of all foreign nationals who have travelled through southern Africa on the last 14 days, on Friday. The banned areas include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
According to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, there are currently no direct flights from those regions to Canada.
With files from CTVNews.ca and Reuters