Should excellent science be punished, South Africa asks

Should exellent science be punished asks South Africa

The news that many countries have closed their borders to South Africa has not gone well down in the country, with scientists there asking “should excellent science be punished”. South Africa who were the first to disclose the Omicron virus that originated in Botswana, has taken a bashing for disclosing the detection.

Scientists in South Africa, who pride themselves on the standard of their work, have described the fast imposition of travel restrictions as punitive and encouraging secrecy around Covid-19 and the pandemic.

Speaking on behalf of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in South Africa, Clayson Monyela, believes that “Excellent science should be applauded and not punished. The global community needs collaboration and partnerships in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  This view is supported by Health Minister Joe Phaahla, who said the WHO had been informed of the findings in the interest of transparency, adding that some reactions to the discovery, including travel bans, were unwarranted.

South Africa’s fragile economy has been under severe strain since the start of the pandemic with the country relying to a large extent on foreign tourism, a trade that has pretty much disappeared over the last two years. The country has seen many jobs lost, more than 600,000 according to Stats SA. Unemployment remains high at around 35% and many tourism businesses remain closed and those that are open have suffered. Tsogo Suns for example, the largest hotel group in Africa ran at an occupancy rate barely above 20% for the last six months.

Yesterday most airlines announced the cancellation of flights in and out of Southern Africa as a result of the find, further adding to the view in South Africa Should excellent science be punished?


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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