US Thanks South Africa for Transparency in Variant Disclosure

Passenger wearing protective mask waits at Munich airport, Germany, 27 November| Photo: EFE/EPA/PHILIPP GUELLAND

The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, this Saturday thanked, on behalf of the government of the country, South Africa for the transparency in the disclosure of information about the omicron variant of the new coronavirus.

Blinken spoke today by telephone with the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to whom he conveyed his “appreciation” for the collaboration in public health between the two nations, according to the US State Department, through communicated.

Blinken mentioned the importance of “rapid identification” of the new variant by researchers working in South Africa. The strain, which was named omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO), worries the scientific community because of the high number of mutations it has, some that have already been seen in other variants such as beta, but this is the first time that several of these mutations have been seen together.

Several countries around the world and the European Union have decided to suspend flights from countries in southern Africa, or have increased restrictions on people arriving from these regions.

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