Cyril Ramaphosa spoke out on November 28, 2021, on the travel restriction measures imposed on South Africans after the detection and announcement of the Omicron variant three days earlier. They represent, according to the South African president, a form of “discrimination against our country”.
Indeed, Cyril Ramaphosa considers these measures “ineffective”, and adds that they have “no scientific justification”. “We are deeply disappointed. We call on all countries that restrict travel to urgently reverse their decisions before these measures cause further damage to our economies and the incomes of our people. ”
Addressing his compatriots, the South African president was reassuring, asking them not to panic. “We have to live with this pandemic,” he said, before insisting on vaccination. Moreover, he argued, “instead of banning travel, rich countries should rather – without delay – support the efforts of developing countries to access sufficient doses of vaccines and to produce them for the benefit. of their population ”.
As a reminder, the new variant of the coronavirus was first discovered in South Africa, prompting the announcement of travel restrictions around the world (as well as a panic in stock markets across the world). On Saturday, the Foreign Office said the measures amount to “punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and its ability to detect new variants more quickly.” Clearly, the country feels “punished” for its transparency on the new variant.