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When Prof Tulio de Oliveira of the Centre for Epidemic Response & Innovation (Ceri) announced the discovery of the then unnamed Sars-CoV-2 variant last week, little did he know what the unintended consequences of his actions would be.

Within hours of his announcement, the UK government had placed SA back on its travel red list and many other countries followed suit. By the weekend, virtually all airlines had stopped accepting SA travellers on board their aircraft. SA had become almost totally isolated from the rest of the world outside Africa...

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