Being punished for detecting new coronavirus strain Omicron: South Africa
New Delhi : South Africa on Saturday raised complaint that they are being punished for detecting the new variant of coronavirus, which WHO has named Omicron.
The decision taken by many countries to ban flights from South Africa is equal to "punishment to South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker," the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.
"Excellent science should be applauded and not punished," it said.
The ministry noted that this was not the first time a new variant has been discovered by a country.
"Each of those cases has had no recent links with Southern Africa, but the reaction to those countries is starkly different to cases in Southern Africa," it said.
Israel and Belgium have also announced that they have detected coronavirus cases with Omicron strain.
Government insisted that South Africa's "capacity to test and its ramped-up vaccination programme, backed up by a world-class scientific community should give our global partners the comfort that we are doing as well as they are in managing the pandemic".
Meanwhile, South Africa is the worst hit country in Africa by coronavirus.