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Let’s get it right, this is not a South African variant, scientists in South Africa discovered it

Irate South Africans took to social media over the weekend to correct international media and commentators referring to the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as the South African variant, and pointing out that it was actually South African scientists who pioneered the discovery of the new variant. Photo: Piers Morgan/Twitter.

Irate South Africans took to social media over the weekend to correct international media and commentators referring to the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as the South African variant, and pointing out that it was actually South African scientists who pioneered the discovery of the new variant. Photo: Piers Morgan/Twitter.

Published Nov 28, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Irate South Africans took to social media over the weekend to correct international media and commentators referring to the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as the South African variant, and pointing out that it was actually South African scientists who pioneered the discovery of the new variant.

As news broke of a new, more transmittable variant of the coronavirus on Friday, several countries around the world acted in haste, imposing air travel bans on South Africa as well as a number of African countries in a bid to contain the spread of a new variant. This is mainly in part due to the misinformation that Omicron was spreading rampantly in the southern African region.

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South Africa is entering a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, which, according to health authorities, is being driven by the new variant.

Twitter users didn’t hold back after it seemed like the international community was persecuting the country instead of celebrating the fact that world-class South African doctors and scientists made the breakthrough discovery of the new variant.

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Social media reacted in disbelief on Saturday when controversial broadcaster Piers Morgan, known for spewing controversial opinions on matters, tweeted in defence of South Africa saying: “Omicron is not a 'South African variant', it's a variant that was spotted & reported by brilliant South African scientists so fast the world has a chance to get on top of it. Could have originated anywhere.”

Twitter users didn’t hold back in response to Morgan’s tweet, with one user even saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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If Piers Morgan gets that it is not a “South African” variant, why can't the rest of the world and why have so called First World countries not followed the science as they so proudly claim to do?

In the wake of the news of a new variant, and the plethora of countries banning travel to South Africa, officials in the country have said that the country is being punished – instead of applauded – for discovering Omicron.

As the county prepares itself for its summer season, which usually sees millions of tourists hit its shores, the untimely and ill-thought travel restrictions will have a negative impact on the country’s economy as it tries to resuscitate itself from a challenging few months.

African news Agency (ANA)

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