Scots Indians accuse Nicola Sturgeon of ‘silly gesture politics’ over Indian variant name change – The Sun

SCOTS Indians have slated the government for “political correctness gone mad” after a deadly new variant of Covid was renamed in case it caused offence.

The double-mutated strain which originated in India has ripped through Glasgow’s southside community causing the city to be placed in Level 3 lockdown limbo.

In a gesture to the Glasgow’s Indian minority communities on Friday Nicola Sturgeon vowed to use the term April-02 instead of “Indian” variant amid concerns the term would offend.

But Neil Lal, president of the Indian Council of Scotland blasted the decision as “silly”and “gesture politics.”

In a scathing rebuttal he told the Sunday Mail: “I’ve not heard from one Indian who has voiced any concern over a Covid strain being called the Indian variant. Not one.

“No one is taking offence to it. It’s an overused term, but it’s political correctness gone mad.

“We’ve certainly not been asked our views on it. We’ve had the Brazilian, South African, Kent and other variants. There’s been no indication any people from these areas have suffered after a strain was named after the region they were from.

“It just looks like gesture politics and empty ones at that. India has bigger problems on its plate than a variant name.

“When I heard about it, I just thought it was very silly.

“This is just playing to the galleries. The facts speak for themselves. People don’t feel stigmatised because a variant developed in India.”

It is feared to be more contagious that the Kent variant that caused the Boxing Day Level 4 shutdown with a ramped up vaccination program underway to combat its spread.

On Friday Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok and Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care said: “There is also a reason why we are calling it the April-02 variant.

“I think it’s so, so important for us not to allow this virus to divide us as communities and people, and I think I would just like to reiterate that message.”

Pollokshields, at the heart of the Glasgow outbreak, was the scene last week of a major protest when the Home Office tried to remove two men targeted in immigration raid.

On Sunday, Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said some members of Asian minorities had been reluctant to have the jab.

She said: “There are some question marks right now, and there will be more data published in days to come, over the efficacy of the vaccine with the Indian variant.”

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