South Africa said on Saturday that it’s being “punished” for discovering a new Covid-19 variant named Omicron that the World Health Organization has termed a “variant of concern” and is transmissible more than the dominant Delta strain.
The decision by various of countries around the world to ban flights from southern Africa following the detection of the new variant “is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and therefore the ability to discover new variants faster,” the foreign affairs ministry aforesaid during a statement.
“Excellent science ought to be applauded and not to be punished,” it said.
The ministry observed that new variants had been discovered in various parts of the globe.
“Each of these cases have had no recent links with Southern Africa, however the reaction to those countries is starkly completely different to cases in Southern Africa,” it said.
Israel and European nations declared after South Africa that they conjointly had detected cases of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.
Government insisted that South Africa’s “capacity to check and its ramped-up vaccination programme, insured by a first scientific community ought to provide our world partners the comfort that we have a tendency to do likewise as they’re in managing the pandemic”.
With over 2.95 million cases and 89,783 deaths, South Africa is reportedly the worst-hit country in Africa by the pandemic.