EYEAFRICA TV: Beijing, China: The British scientific journal Nature published an apology Tuesday for associating the novel coronavirus with China.
In an editorial titled “Stop the coronavirus stigma now,” the journal admitted that it has associated the virus with China and the city of Wuhan, which was an error on its part, for which it takes responsibility and apologizes.
“Continuing to associate a virus and the disease it causes with a specific place is irresponsible and needs to stop,” the publication says.
Failing to do so has caused racist attacks, it says.
Many of overseas Chinese students “are hesitating to come back, in part, because of fears of continuing racism, along with uncertainty over the future of their courses and not knowing when international travel will resume,” says the publication.
It would be “a loss for all”, not only for students from China and other countries in Asia, but also for universities that have “striven to boost diversity”, and for countries that have “enacted policies to encourage international academic mobility.”
The journal suggests that “we must all do everything we can to avoid and reduce stigma, not associate COVID-19 with any particular group of people or place.” It emphasizes that “viruses do not discriminate – we are all at risk.”
“It would be tragic if stigma, fueled by the coronavirus, led Asia’s young people to retreat from international campuses. Coronavirus stigma must stop now,” it says.