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Antony Blinken Calls Omicron Discovery, Transparency by South Africa 'Model for the World'

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Blinken pointed that the South African government’s transparency in sharing news about Omicron “should serve as a model for the world.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised South Africa’s efforts to quickly identify and alert the world about the new Omicron variant. During a Saturday call with South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, Blinken said he appreciates the South African government’s transparency in delivering news about the new COVID variant. “Secretary Blinken specifically praised South Africa’s scientists for the quick identification of the Omicron variant and South Africa’s government for its transparency in sharing this information, which should serve as a model for the world,” the Department of State said in a statement. The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa and was deemed by the World Health Organization ( WHO) as a virus strain of “concern.” On Saturday, over a dozen countries announced temporary travel restrictions on South Africa and seven other nations in the region after some cases were reported in several parts of the world. The South African foreign ministry denounced the move on Saturday, criticizing their fast decisions to ban travel instead of adopting a wait-and-see approach.

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