January 18, 2022

South Africa feels “punished” for detecting Omicron variant

The South African government believes it has nothing to be ashamed of and denounces its stigmatization after the announcement of the discovery of this new variant.

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“Scientific excellence must be applauded, not punished.” South Africa, whose citizens have become persona non grata all over the world after the discovery of a disturbing new variant, feels “punished” and unfairly treated when it was its scientists who discovered it and quickly alerted the world.

The South African government believes, Saturday, November 27, have nothing to be ashamed of and denounces its stigmatization. “New variants have been detected in other countries. Each of these cases has no recent link to southern Africa. It should be noted that the reaction to these countries is radically different from that of the cases. in southern Africa “, regrets the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.

He also recalls that the WHO has “asked leaders around the world not to react impulsively” in order to favor a “scientific, risk-based approach”. From Friday evening, the day after the revelation of this new variant called “Omicron” by the WHO, the South African Minister of Health denounced the Pavlovian reaction and “draconian” many countries that immediately closed their borders even before knowing more about its dangerousness.

“Some leaders are looking for scapegoats to solve a problem that is global.”

Joe Phaahla, South African Minister of Health

during a press conference

Pretoria fears the impact of these closures on “families, the travel and tourism sector, businesses”. But the South African authorities warn above all that these decisions may dissuade other countries from reporting the discovery of future variants for fear of being punished. “We are sometimes punished for being transparent and doing things quickly”, lamented South African virology star Tulio de Oliveira who, with his team from the Krisp research institute, detected this new variant.