South African President Invites Scientists From BRICS Countries to Study COVID-19
08:52 GMT 10.12.2021 (Updated: 12:53 GMT 10.11.2022)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited scientists from the BRICS member states to visit his nation and study the coronavirus and its mutations with local specialists, his office said on Friday.
"President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited scientists from fellow BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – to work alongside South African scientists in further researching the various characteristics of the COVID-19 virus and its mutations," the office said in a statement.
"This cooperation takes place within the context of the establishment of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre in a virtual format," the statement read.
The World Health Organization during an emergency meeting on 26 November designated the new COVID-19 strain as a "variant of concern" and called it Omicron. The variant first originated in South Africa and is spreading around the world with more and more countries reporting on Omicron cases. The spread of Omicron prompted many countries to close borders for foreigners arriving from Africa regardless of whether they hold a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative coronavirus test.