WHO director-general ‘pained’ by racist cartoon of Omicron coming from SA
World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says it pains him that shows of racism, like the recent cartoon depicting SA spreading the Omicron variant of the coronavirus to Europe, “still plague the challenges facing the world today”.
On Monday evening Ghebreyesus tweeted that caricaturing people crammed in a boat taking a virus to Europe was “disgusting”.
“We can only advance, as one community, by promoting solidarity, not stigma,” he said.
It pains me that shows of racism like this still plague the challenges facing the world today.— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) December 6, 2021
Caricaturing people crammed in a boat bringing a virus to Europe is disgusting.
We can only advance, as one 🌍 community, by promoting solidarity, not stigma. https://t.co/FtZIJKaIQ4
The cartoon by Javi Salado was published on November 28 in the opinions section of Spanish newspaper La Tribuna de Albacete and depicts Omicron as black and travelling on a boat with a SA flag.
Several countries imposed travel restrictions on Southern African countries after SA experts detected and alerted the world to the variant last month.
Amid an outcry over the restrictions, with many saying it targets and discriminates against African countries, CBS News reported the variant was present in Europe before it was flagged by SA experts.
The newspaper issued an apology: “Both Javi Salado and La @TribunaAlbacete would like to apologise to any readers who may have felt annoyed or offended by the aforementioned publication.”
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