In an tackle to the nation on Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticized a rising listing of nations which have instituted journey bans in opposition to South Africa and its neighbors over the rising Omicron variant of Covid-19.
“We’re deeply disenchanted by the choice of a number of international locations to ban journey from a variety of southern African international locations together with our personal following the identification of the Omicron variant. It is a clear and utterly unjustified departure from the dedication that many of those international locations made at that assembly of the G20 international locations in Rome final month,” Ramaphosa mentioned.
Ramaphosa went on to listing the international locations and territories by identify and known as on the journey restrictions to be lifted.
“These restrictions are utterly unjustified and unfairly discriminate in opposition to our nation and our southern African sister international locations. The prohibition of journey shouldn’t be knowledgeable by science, nor will it’s efficient in stopping the unfold of this variant. The one factor the prohibition on journey will do is to additional harm the economies of the affected international locations and undermine their skill to reply to and in addition to get better from the pandemic,” he mentioned.
Ramaphosa praised the nation’s scientists for his or her early detection of the variant and their work in understanding its potential affect.
He mentioned that the Omicron variant is liable for a lot of the infections discovered within the Gauteng province over the past two weeks and is now showing in different provinces. He confirmed that the nation is seeing a pointy rise in infections.
“If circumstances proceed to climb, we are able to anticipate to enter a fourth wave of infections inside the subsequent few weeks, if not sooner,” he mentioned.
Some context: South African scientists have lengthy believed a fourth wave was on the way in which in South Africa throughout this time, one thing Ramaphosa reiterated.
“This could not come as a shock,” he mentioned.
Ramaphosa inspired South Africans to get vaccinated and mentioned that the federal government is exploring vaccine mandates to speed up vaccine uptake. Presently, round 35% of the inhabitants is vaccinated in South Africa. He mentioned that the nation will stay at coronavirus Stage 1, one of many nation’s lowest ranges.
“The coronavirus can be with us for the long run. We should due to this fact discover methods of managing the pandemic whereas limiting disruptions to the financial system and making certain continuity,” he mentioned.