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Diplomats were among the first people known to be infected with the Omicron variant in Botswana last month. Yet, ironically, the travel bans following SA’s announcement that it had sequenced the new strain of the virus unleashed a diplomatic storm.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been particularly vocal about the bans, as SA needs tourism from abroad during the festive season to help rescue its lockdown-damaged economy...

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