File: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. AFP/Rodger Bosch
JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, says there's no proof that South Africa's COVID-19 variant has been a major factor in the second wave in the United Kingdom.
This follows utterances by the Secretary for Health in the United Kingdom, Matt Hancock.
Mkhize says there is evidence the UK variant developed earlier than the South African one.
He maintains that non-pharmaceutical interventions and strict containment measures are important to reduce the risk of transmission.
Mkhize also blasted the travel ban, saying the decision was unfortunate and requires more scientific evidence.
"Banning travel between UK and SA is an unfortunate decision. Such a decision would require more scientific evidence than is currently available," Mkhize said.
"There is no evidence that the SA variant is more pathogenic than the UK variant to necessitate this step.
"Future research will also shed light on the question of whether the 501.V2 variant becomes resistant to vaccines that have been developed."