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South Africa Evaluates Mandatory COVID Vaccination for Certain Places and Activities

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 28 (Reuters) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday authorities are considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for people in certain places and activities as the rise in infections linked to a new This variant augured a fourth wave of the pandemic.

But he said authorities would not enforce business closures for the time being, while denouncing wealthy nations in the West for swiftly imposing travel bans from South Africa following the emergence of the new omicron variant.

“If cases continue to rise, we can expect to enter a fourth wave of infections in the coming weeks, if not sooner,” Ramaphosa warned, adding that South Africa was in the process of considering “introducing measures that will make vaccination a condition for access to workplaces, public events, public transport and public establishments “.

So far, scientists have only detected the new omicron variant in relatively small numbers, mainly in South Africa, but also in Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel. But they are concerned about the high number of mutations in the strain, as this could make it more contagious and resistant to vaccines.

South African officials are outraged by the British ban on flights from southern African countries, as several other nations have taken similar action. Many South Africans feel that they are being punished for their transparency and their hard work to control the way the virus is mutating.

“This is a clear and completely unjustified departure from the commitment that many of these countries made at the meeting of the G20 countries in Rome last month,” Ramaphosa said.

“The travel ban is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. The only thing (it) … will do is further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to. .. the pandemic “.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

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