COVID-19 vaccine
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South Africa responded to travel restrictions imposed by several countries following the new COVID-19 strain identified in South Africa.

"South Africa aligns itself with the World Health Organization's position on the latest travel bans," the South African Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.

In the response, South Africa's foreign ministry noted that new variants have been detected in other countries. "Each of those cases," they emphasized, "have had no recent links with Southern Africa. It’s worth noting that the reaction to those countries is starkly different to cases in Southern Africa."

"This latest round of travel bans is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker." the statement read. "Excellent science should be applauded and not punished. The global community needs collaboration and partnerships in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Naledi Pandor, the South Afircan Minister of International Relations and Cooperation added: "Whilst we respect the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, we need to remember that this pandemic requires collaboration and sharing of expertise. Our immediate concern is the damage that these restrictions are causing to families, the travel and tourism industries and business”.

South Africa has started engaging countries that have imposed travel bans with the view to persuade them to reconsider.