South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said that preliminary studies indicate that the Corona variant discovered in the country may be more transmissible, but the decision of countries to impose travel restrictions is “unjustified“.
Speaking to reporters, Bahla explained that “South Africa is acting with transparency and the travel ban goes against the rules and standards of the World Health Organization.”
The minister denounced Britain’s imposition of restrictions on travel to South Africa, saying that the United Kingdom did not consult with the country before making this “unilateral” decision.
“Our immediate concern is the damage that this decision will cause to both the tourism industries and businesses of both countries,” South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said in a statement.
Not much is known yet about the new strain of Covid-19 that was detected in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Belgium, but scientists believe that it has an unusual group of mutations that may make it able to avoid an immune reaction and more susceptible to infection.