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Travel bans "draconian" and "counterproductive": S African Health Minister

27/11/2021 05:27 PM

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 27 -- South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Friday described the travel bans on South Africa and some Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries as a knee-jerk reaction that is not based on scientific evidence.

"It does not look scientific, it's a knee-jerk and panic reaction. People want to blame other countries," Xinhua news agency quoted Phaahla as saying when he hosted a virtual question and answer media session on the new B.1.1.529 variant.

South Africa was hit by travel bans from several countries following the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant this week.

Phaahla said the bans are "draconian" and "counterproductive". He called on countries to work together to fight the pandemic instead of trying to blame others.

"This (travel ban) is not helpful and not constructive. It will make other countries less willing to share information," he said.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), 2,828 new COVID-19 cases were identified in South Africa in the last 24 hours, with 12 related deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,955,328.


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