The Brazilian captain of the team that discovered the omicron variant, Tulio de Oliveira, said in an interview with GNews Punishing countries when new variables are identified, such as closing borders, can discourage scholars.
Oliveira was chosen as one of the The 10 Most Influential Scientists of 2021 by Nature magazine. The annual selection aims to highlight the individuals who have contributed the most to science.
Director of the Center for Epidemiological Response and Innovation (CERI) at South AfricaHe gained fame for heading one of the teams involved in discovering the novel coronavirus variant in the country and for sharing data with the World Health Organization (WHO)Who is the) in a November 24.
For the researcher, one of the reasons why it stood out was The way the discovery was communicated to the country’s politicians and the rapid response.
Oliveira comments that the support of the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, was necessary after the micron was identified. From that contact, he can speak directly to the country’s health minister, Joe Bhalla, and on television.
“I think it’s important to move quickly and to be scientifically transparent,” he said. “Because that allows the hospitals and the world to be prepared. We have the super transmissible alternative, omicron, but the hospitals were ready. We didn’t have the hospitals completely full, the oxygen was ready, So the death rate is low‘, he explains.
On the other hand, there is the reaction of states regarding the identification of the new variable. According to the world, Closing the borders doesn’t actually work and after that, The negative repercussions generate economic and psychological damage For residents of the state in which the breed was identified.
“Now imagine which other country in the world would like to quickly identify a variable and which other world would like to have this repercussion? So it is a situation that identifies a pathogen with a global problem, and countries and scientists will remain silent so as not to face repercussions. This will affect the health of the entire world.”
According to Oliveira, it is today in st 7, a set consisting of GermanyAnd CanadaAnd United StateAnd FranceAnd ItaliaAnd Japan e United kingdomDiscussions about financial support for new discoveries rather than ‘punishment’.
Micron in South Africa
Oliveira says that for the past seven years, his team, made up of several Brazilians, has been working with viruses common in Brazil, such as dengue and yellow fever, and uses techniques learned in the country in South Africa on viruses such as HIV and tuberculosis. Therefore, during the epidemic, it was possible to work with the coronavirus.
He remembers that the variant was identified in 36 hours, and after the President of the Republic, the Minister of Health was informed and made public, in 24 hours there was a meeting with the World Health Organization, which classified the variant as worrisome.
According to Oliveira, this was the first time in hours that a global discovery, verification, and reaction had been made. He says the process usually takes months to respond. With it, it was possible to maintain a low mortality rate.
Ômicron: What is known about the new variant discovered in South Africa
in regards to Brazil, the world laments the so-called brain drain, when researchers decided to leave the country in search of more opportunities.
“the Brazil I made a lot of progress on the science part 3 or 4 years ago. It had a lot of funding, and a lot of Brazilian scientists were respected.”
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