Phaahla: We must inform WHO about new COVID variant for the sake of transparency

This comes after a number of countries cancelled travel to South Africa due to the discovery of the variant.

FILE: Health Minister Joe Phaahla at a briefing on 30 September 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Joe Phaahla said some of the reaction to discovery of the new COVID-19 variant in this country was unwarranted.

This comes after a number of countries cancelled travel to South Africa due to the discovery of the variant.

Speaking to the media on Friday evening, the minister said it was in the interests of transparency that the World Health Organization was informed.

“Mutations are always happening, but when they pick up something, which is of significance, they come out to inform us so that we can be able to inform the World Health Organization.”

He said there were questions about this new variant but its early days.

“At no stage did they say that they have got evidence that this virus is more transmissible. They did emphasise that it is still early stages of the specifics of how this new variant is going to unfold.”

WATCH: What we know about the new COVID-19 variant in SA