A Canadian publication, The Globe and Mail, based in British Columbia, has been accused of racism after their headline highlighted a single, unconfirmed Nigerian coronavirus variant out of 47 different variants identified.
According to the publication, “British Columbia’s top doctor says 47 cases of COVID-19 variants have been identified in the province, including one believed to be linked to Nigeria.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says 29 cases are related to a variant first identified in the United Kingdom, 17 are associated with South Africa and the latest one involves a person who travelled to Nigeria and returned to the Interior Health region.
Henry says lab teams in B.C. are working with their counterparts across Canada and internationally to get a better understanding of whether the Nigerian variant that has been identified elsewhere is also easily transmissible or causes more severe illness”.
In reaction to the story a freelance journalist Jackie habib, tweeted:
Can someone tell me why this article is about 47 newly detected cases of COVID-19 variants — of which 29 are from the UK, 17 from South Africa and just one believed to be from from Nigeria (not confirmed), yet that's the focus of the headline and lede? Make it make sense. https://t.co/oaxgRNdnsm
— Jacky Habib (@JackyHabib) February 13, 2021
Other reactions include:
@glibeandmail, why is Nigeria the headline when it's even unconfirmed? This is quite biased.
— OluEazy (@EazyOlu) February 13, 2021
Somehow, you manage to squeeze in Nigeria and make it the headline. Junk journalism
— Nwoke Nanka (@Okolimoxy) February 13, 2021