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Ramaphosa slams pandemic 'health apartheid' during visit to Cote d'Ivoire

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SIA KAMBOU/AFP or licensors


South African President meets with his Ivorian counterpart in Abidjan as he continues his tour of West African states .As he did in Nigeria on wednesday, ramaphosa slams pandemic 'health apartheid' which he described a slap in the face of African excellence and expertise.

"As South Africa we stand firmly against any health apartheid in the fight against this pandemic. I want to use this opportunity your excellency, to once again call on countries that have imposed these travel restrictions, to urgently reconsider their decision and lift those bans and allow people to travel "he stressed.

South African scientists announced on 25 November that they had detected a highly mutated form of coronavirus.

The variant has since been reported in many other countries, including in Europe, India and the United States. Three other African countries - Botswana, Ghana and Nigeria - have recorded cases.

On a visit to Ivory Coast, he said the curbs, which many countries have also applied to countries across southern Africa, were "regrettable, unfair, and unscientific".

"These bans will cause untold damage, in particular to travel and tourism industries that sustain businesses and livelihoods in South Africa and the southern African region" he added.