The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) urges people to support South Africa’s scientific community, following reports that leading scientists and researchers have come under attack from members of the public.

With over 5-million deaths due Covid-19 globally, and no signs of the pandemic dissipating, the work of scientists in conducting research and sharing this knowledge is vital for saving lives and trying to bring an end to the pandemic.

The DSI calls on the public to support members of the scientific community for the work they have been doing since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019 – and not to vilify, threaten or seek to intimidate them.

The department believes that, as the deadly virus continues to mutate and spread throughout the country and the world, the value of scientific research in tackling the virus head-on cannot be overstated. The only way to contain Covid-19 is through establishing accurate scientific facts and communicating this information on a regular basis.

South African scientists have been at the forefront of the global battle against Covid-19. Twice already, first with the Beta variant and more recently with Omicron, South African scientists have been the first to discover new mutations of the virus.

The department also points out that it is through scientific research that vaccines have been successfully developed and manufactured.

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