- BBC News World
The South African government is upset.
On Saturday, the State Department published a statement, and on Sunday the same President, Cyril Ramaphosa, condemned the travel ban imposed on his country and its neighbors as a result of the discovery by the world of a new type of coronavirus called omicron. Health Organization (WHO).
Ramaphosa said,deeply disappointedAbout this measure, which he described as “unjustified”, and called for the ban to be lifted urgently.
“The only thing a travel ban will do is further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond and recover from the pandemic,” he said.
The president described the emergence of the omicron variant as a wake-up call to the world regarding inequality in the distribution of vaccines and warned that until much of the world’s population is vaccinated, more variables will be inevitable.
An earlier statement from South Africa’s foreign ministry also harshly criticized the travel ban, describing the country as “punishing” rather than praising its discovery of Omicron.
According to the text, the discovery of a new variant there is due to the fact that the country has the technology and technical capacity to detect new mutations of the virus.
“South Africa’s testing capacity and its accelerated vaccination programme, backed by a world-class scientific community, should give our global partners the peace of mind we do as they do managing a pandemic.”
The United Kingdom, the European Union, Israel, Canada and the United States are among those imposing travel restrictions from South African countries in recent days.
The highly mutated variant was first reported to the World Health Organization on Wednesday and preliminary evidence points to an increased risk of infection again.
But one of the experts who discovered it told the BBC on Sunday that symptoms appeared to be moderate to mild.
The variant is responsible for most of the infections found in South Africa’s most populous province of Gauteng, over the past two weeks, and is now found in every other province in the country.
The World Health Organization warned on Saturday against countries imposing travel restrictions hastily, saying it was best to take a “scientific, risk-based approach”.
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