South Africa feels ‘punished’ for detecting Omicron variant

12 months ago

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South Africa on Saturday, said that it was being ‘punished’ instead of being applauded for detecting Omicron, a new variant of COVID-19.

This came in light of several countries imposing travel restrictions on South Africa and other countries in their region.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in a statement noted that “this latest round of travel bans is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker. Excellent science should be applauded and not punished. The global community needs collaboration and partnerships in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

DIRCO pointed out that new variants have been detected in other countries as well, and “each of those cases had no recent links with Southern Africa. It’s worth noting that the reaction to those countries is starkly different to cases in Southern Africa.”

DIRCO said South Africa has already started engaging countries that have imposed travel bans in hopes of persuading them to reconsider.

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