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WHO slams 'racist' calls by French scientists

7-04-2020, 15:04

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as "racist" the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa, according to foreign media.

"Africa can't and won't be a testing ground for any vaccine," said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"It was a disgrace, appalling, to hear during the 21st Century, to hear from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible, and we assure you that this will not happen," he said.

Speaking at a WHO video press conference, he said: "Whether it's in Europe, Africa, or wherever, we will use the same protocol."

"And the hangover from a colonial mentality has to stop," said Tedros, adding: "WHO will not allow this to happen."

On April 3, French doctors Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht suggested testing coronavirus vaccine in Africa.

One of them later issued an apology.