for subscribers

'Calling it the SA variant is a stigmatising approach' - Prof Salim Abdool Karim on 501Y.V2

Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Health experts have spoken about potential stigma around how we speak about Covid-19.
Health experts have spoken about potential stigma around how we speak about Covid-19.
PHOTO: Serbian Interior Ministry/handout/Getty Ima

In December 2020, scientists in South Africa identified the presence of a variant of concern (VOC) of the Covid-19 virus. Sequence data showed that this variant initially emerged in October 2020 in the Eastern Cape, and by January 2021 it was found in several provinces in the country.

The variant, named 501Y.V2, was soon considered to be the dominating variant, responsible for a large number of infections during the second wave in the country. But when 501Y.V2 was spread around the world, it quickly and infamously became known as "the South African variant" - an association that is unfair and damaging to SA.

EXPLAINER | Where are SA's Covid-19 vaccines coming from?

There’s more to this story
Subscribe to News24 and get access to our exclusive journalism and features today.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3748 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2548 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 3629 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.29
(-1.53)
ZAR/GBP
21.25
(-1.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.30
(-0.73)
ZAR/AUD
11.82
(-1.02)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.68)
Gold
1696.60
(-0.82)
Silver
25.28
(-2.83)
Platinum
1124.00
(-2.85)
Brent Crude
63.94
(+2.19)
Palladium
2347.00
(+0.36)
All Share
67743.54
(-0.85)
Top 40
62250.03
(-0.97)
Financial 15
12674.59
(+0.82)
Industrial 25
87893.58
(-1.99)
Resource 10
69284.70
(+0.09)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo