South Africa feels punished for announcing the discovery of the new virus variant, omikron. After the announcement, several European countries immediately announced an entry ban for travelers from the country.
“Excellent science should be commended, not punished,” South Africa’s foreign ministry said in a statement. According to the ministry, South Africa is now being penalized for its “advanced genetic sequencing and ability to discover new variants more quickly”. According to the ministry, the reaction was completely different when new variants were discovered in other countries.
“The travel ban is based on politics, not science,” an African Union spokesperson said. “Why are we closing off Africa when the virus is already on three continents?”
Dutch doctor Hugo Tempelmann, who with his lab is involved in research into the novel coronavirus variant, also said he did not agree with the entry ban for people from South Africa. He believes that the country is, in fact, to be commended for its openness.
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