South Africa says it’s on punished for early detection of COVID variants

passengers queue to a PCR. to get test against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before you travel on international flights, at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 26, 2021. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham/File photo

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  • Government says variant detected in other countries at
  • Global response to other countries different, says ministry
  • To talk with countries reconsider travel ban

JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 27 (Reuters) – South Africa said: on Saturday it was punished for it’s advanced ability to detect new COVID-19 variants early, as travel bans and restrictions imposed because of the new Omicron variant threatens to harm tourism and other sectors of the economy.

South Africa has something of the worldthe top epidemiologists and scientists, who have managed to detect emerging coronavirus variants and their mutations early on in their life cycle. The Omicron variant was first discovers in South Africa and has since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.

“This latest round of trip bans is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants faster,” the ministry of International relations and cooperation said.

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“Excellent science should be welcomed and not punished,” it said in a statement.

Many countries hastened on Friday and Saturday to announce travel restrictions to South Africa and others countries in the region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that while the new variant was also detected in other countries, the global reaction to it countries were “greatly different” from cases in South Africa.

The new variant used to be first announced on Wednesday by a team of scientists in South Africa who said they discovered a variant die possibly the body immune response and make it more transferable.

On Friday, the World Health Organization named it Omicron, calling it a “variant” of concern” – the most serious level – saying preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection. read more

“Our immediate concern is the damage die these restrictions inflict on families, the travel and tourism industry and business’ said the South African minister of Foreign Affairs Naledi Pandor in the explanation.

The government was fascinating with countries die have imposed travel bans to convince them to reconsider, it added.

On Friday, the WHO warned countries against Hastily impose travel restrictions die associated with the variant, saying that they should take a “risk-based and scientific approach”.

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Reporting by Promit Mukherjee Editing by Frances Kerry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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