AN urgent intervention by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, as well as talks between South Africa and the diplomatic corps, has led to the successful lifting of an import ban on medical supplies and equipment from the neighbouring country needed to fight the COVID-19 locally.
The decision by South Africa to ban all exports on medicine and medical equipment needed to fight against the coronavirus was met with criticism from local authorities, one being land reform and agriculture minister, Calle Schlettwein.
Schlettwein took to Twitter to express disappointment in the decision that came into effect on 27 March, describing it as a lack of human compassion and solidarity on the part of South African authorities.
South Africa’s u-turn on the ban will mean that medicine and other medical resources such as hand sanitizers and masks will once again be imported into Namibia.
“Decisions by the EU, India and others, and now South Africa, to ban exports of essential medicines (to fight Covid 19) is very worrying. Such an approach completely lacks human compassion, solidarity and a sense that the whole world is fighting a global pandemic. I believe no country alone can solve and protect its citizens from a global pandemic. Therefore, countries must cooperate instead of following an approach of splendid isolation. It is nothing else but self-interest, no compassion or solidarity with human beings outside their countries,” Schlettwein tweeted at the time.