Covid-19: South Africa feels punished after its revelations on the Omicron variant

A health worker wears the mask in Soweto, South Africa, November 26, 2021. REUTERS - SIPHIWE SIBEKO

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1 min

The revelation of the presence of a new variant has caused a worldwide shock wave.

Called "Omicron" by the World Health Organization and considered to be a source of concern.

About 100 cases have been identified in South Africa, but its origin remains unknown.

And yet countries around the world are closing their borders to South Africa and several countries in southern Africa.

South Africa feels let down after making its revelations.

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With our correspondent in Johannesburg,

Romain Chanson

“ 

We are being punished for being transparent 

”: this is the sentiment expressed by Professor Tulio de Oliveria, one of the researchers behind the discovery of the Omicron variant.

The chain closures of foreign borders distress the South African authorities.

Part of the reactions is "

 unjustified

 " reacted the Minister of Health pointing the finger at European countries and the United Kingdom.

We need to work together rather than punishing each other,

 " Minister Joe Phaahla said warning against looking for a scapegoat.

To read also: The new variant of Covid-19 detected in southern Africa renamed Omicron

While it is impossible to say when the variant first appeared, it is in South Africa that it is spreading rapidly.

The number of cases of contaminations linked to the variant are increasing in almost all provinces of South Africa according to the World Health Organization.

This variant accompanies the start of the fourth epidemic wave, the potency of which should be monitored by all countries in the world.

It is unfair, and it is reckless of foreign countries to close their borders with South Africa on the basis of a discovery that we share with the world, we should not be stigmatized.

The tourism industry, which contributes more than 8% of GDP, fears a major crisis

Romain Song

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  • South Africa

  • Vaccines

  • Coronavirus

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