- Fahla said, this is a step in the wrong direction and against the rules recommended by the World Health Organization.
- ‘Worrying Variants’ is the WHO’s top category among the various variants of COVID-19 causing concern.
- Omicron variants of corona have also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
Johannesburg: South Africa’s Health Minister Joe Fahla said on Friday that it was “cruel” and a “wrong step” by several countries to impose travel restrictions on his country one after the other due to the new and potentially more contagious nature of the Kovid. Kovid’s new variant B.1.1.529, first detected in South Africa this week, has been classified by the World Health Organization as a ‘concerning variant’ on Friday and named Omicron.
‘We feel this is a wrong initiative’
Fahla said, “We feel this is a wrong initiative. This is a step in the wrong direction and is against the rules recommended by the World Health Organization. We just feel that some of the leadership of (these) countries are looking for scapegoats to deal with the situation which is a global problem. ‘Worrying Variants’ is the WHO’s top category among the various variants of COVID-19 causing concern. It was first detected in South Africa on 24 November. It has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.
‘We are reaching 3000 cases here’
Fahla said, ‘It is ironic that we are discussing a small sample in South Africa today while we are concerned about the rapid increase in cases in 14 days from a low of just about 300 per day, We are reaching 3000 cases here (daily). This is a big increase but compare with some countries which are reacting very strongly, we are talking about countries with rising infection rate of 40,000 new infections per day.
‘We don’t want to blame’
The minister said, ‘We do not want to blame but the way the virus spreads through the movement of people, it is not inconceivable that it is also possible that it may have originated in countries which are more liberal in terms of crowd management. And where masks are not applied or other precautions are not taken in the stadium. In many parts of Europe and America, stadiums have been opened for sports matches and songs and concerts. Pahala said he was aware that the announcement of the discovery of the new form by South African scientists on Thursday has created fear and uncertainty.
‘I am referring to the countries of Europe’
“This is anticipated in the kind of situation where we are struggling with a rising target, but we want to reassure the people of South Africa and around the world that we believe that some actions are indeed inappropriate,” Fahla said. I am specifically referring to the countries of Europe here. Britain on Thursday announced a ban on flights to and from South Africa. After that many other European countries took this step.
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