×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

WHO director-general ‘pained’ by racist cartoon of Omicron coming from SA

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that caricaturing people crammed in a boat taking a virus to Europe was disgusting. File photo.
World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that caricaturing people crammed in a boat taking a virus to Europe was disgusting. File photo.
Image: Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

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.

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.”

TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.