SOUTH AFRICA IS PAYING THE PRICE OF ITS EARLY DETECTION VARIANT




On November 26, WHO designated a new variant of corona virus as B.1.1.529 as a variant of concern. South African scientists discovered this new variant among its population and soon the world responded despicably by announcing the blanket travel bans to curb the spread of the variant of concern. A large billable of efforts are undertaken to nip this problem in the bud but the actions taken are damaging to South Africa’s plummeting economy. Recent travel bans imposed on South Africa and neighboring countries in reaction to the finding of the omicron variant in southern Africa have whacked the country's safari business, already hard smash by the pandemic. South Africa's tourism industry underwent a more than 70% dip in foreign tourists in 2020, with COVID-19 indicted for the drop from about 15 million travelers in 2019 to less than 5 million in 2020. Tourism engages about 4.7% of South Africa's workforce. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the travel bans put by Britain and many others, entailing some African countries as "hypocritical, harsh and not supported by science." He chastised the constraints as "travel apartheid."The implementation of kneejerk decisions caused havoc all over the world about this new variant amazingly for which a detailed and authentic study has not been conducted regarding its effects and transmissibility.

South Africa should be commended for its vigilance and information. However, it has faced ostracisation by some countries. European and western countries assumed that travel bans would help to contain the virus but the virus successfully spread its reach to many nooks and corners of the world. It would have been preferred if countries collaborated, and supported countries like South Africa, which reported the variant. Any sense of punishment for such reporting will be bad for others who report such measures in the future.



CRUDE FACTS

According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control (ACDC), as of December 3, Africa had 8.6 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 2.23 lakh deaths. An estimated 8.1 million people recovered and 82.5 million tests were conducted. The ACDC recorded that Africa has dispensed 56.4% of its allotted doses; 10.6% of the people are partially, and merely 7%fully, vaccinated.

A RAY OF HOPE

NEED OF THE HOUR



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