December 8, 2021

South Africa to engage UK over temporary ban on flights: government

Government says it has famous the announcement by the UK (UK) to briefly ban all flights from the Southern components of Africa, together with South Africa, from getting into the UK due to the detection of a brand new Coronavirus variant, B.1.1.529.

South Africa confirmed on Thursday that it has detected the brand new Coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 within the nation.

In accordance to the BBC, UK Well being Secretary, Sajid Javid, introduced on Friday that six African international locations, together with South Africa, could be added to the crimson listing, with flights being briefly banned from Friday at noon.

The opposite international locations embrace Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

No circumstances have been recognized within the UK. Nevertheless, in a press release, that government stated it was taking precautionary measures to shield public well being and the progress made to date by means of their profitable vaccination programme.

“The variant includes a large number of spike protein mutations as well as mutations in other parts of the viral genome. These are potentially biologically significant mutations, which may change the behaviour of the virus concerning vaccines, treatments and transmissibility. More investigation is required,” the UK government stated.

Whereas South Africa stated it respects the suitable of all international locations to take the required precautionary measures to shield its residents, the Division of Worldwide Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) stated the UK’s choice appears to have been “rushed”.

“Even the World Health Organisation is yet to advise on the next steps,” stated the division.

Minister Naledi Pandor stated: “Our immediate concern is the damage that this decision will cause to both the tourism industries and businesses of both countries”.

In accordance to the division, the officers will engage the UK government with the view to persuade them to rethink the choice.

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