Harare (New Ziana)-The planned Rwanda-Zimbabwe business conference has been cancelled due to complex travel arrangements caused by the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has said.
Officially designated Omicron the fifth ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organisation, it has seen southern African countries including Zimbabwe being zoned off by most of the world with direct flights banned and those flying in from these countries forced to undergo mandatory quarantine.
Rwanda also suspended with immediate effect, direct flights between that country and southern African countries with arriving passengers being put on mandatory quarantine for 24 hours.
In a statement, the CZI said the conference would be held at a later date .
“CZI would like to advise of the cancellation of the planned Rwanda-Zimbabwe Business Conference (which was scheduled for the 29th of November at Rainbow Towers, Harare) as the Rwandan team travel arrangements were made complex by the recently discovered Omicron variant in South Africa. As a result of this heightened Covid-19 risk, several flights bound for southern Africa were cancelled.
“The visit and business conference will be planned for a later date in line with respective government advice on Covid-919 related risk,” it said.
The business conference was a follow up to the first similar conference successfully hosted by Kigali in September this year which saw the CZI signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rwandan private sector federation.
Following the discovery of a new Omicron variant of Covid-19 last week, Western countries went on to suspend flights from most southern African countries including Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Zimbabwe has not yet recorded cases of the new Covid-19 variant B.1.1.529 but authorities have said the country was prepared to deal with its response measures being intensified including tighter monitoring of all ports of entry.