By Joyce Babayeju
Professor of virology and one time vice chancellor Redeemer University in Osun State of Nigeria, Prof Oyewale Tamori has said the fixation with Covid 19 origin tracing should be done based on science not politics..
Speaking in a telephone chat with Daybreak newspaper on the likely origin of the virus and the controversies it has generated, the renowned virologist said that it would be difficult to say in specific terms the origin of the Covid 19 virus
” it’s difficult to say, what we know scientifically is that either ways there are possibilities and evidence of human relationship with animals causing infection. It is also possible that an error can be made and it can result from that, however nobody has any concrete evidence that this is what happens that’s the way to look at it.nScientifically no body or country has presented any evidence to tell us the origin of the virus so to say otherwise is political.
In the real sence we do know that the Americans have been working with China in Wuhan lab, they have been doing collaborative work in the Wuhan lab with funding by the Americans for a long time then suddenly you are backing out and heaping the blame on China and calling for more investigation and demonizing WHO as not credible.
Until we have evidence I think it’s political to say the virus originated from this country or that country” He said.
On the omicron he insisted that the existing convention for determining the origin of a virus or a disease should always be followed. “The convention says, who reports first, gets the honour of the origin… even if years later, it is discovered that the disease existed somewhere before the date of official report. So, ascribing the origin to South Africa or any other country is neither strange, wrong or racist, as we often loudly cry out. Remember, the FIRST confirmed case of Lassa fever was REPORTED in Nigeria. Later studies showed that there have been cases in other countries some 20 years before the Nigerian report. So this is the convention and until it is changed, we all abide by it” he said.
He however decried the growing incident of vaccine hoarding by some countries noting that it would not help anyone. as it amounts to “shortsightedness” noting that no country can be free of the virus until all countries are free
“it is shortsightedness on their side to do what they are doing and is capable of prolonging the pandemic” He said.
Using polio as an example he said that although most Western countries have been free of the disease for many years they are still vaccinating against it because of it existence in third world countries
“take polio as a good example, most of the other parts of the Western world have been free of polio for the last ten to twenty years but they are still vaccinating against polio because third world countries are not free and can still spread it to them. They have not learnt from that message, that until all of us are free they are not free they think they are responsible to only their own people”.