by fiifi DZANSI
There’s a new variant of COVID-19 on the block. It’s Omicron.
Scientists say it spreads very fast. But we need a little more data to know what we’re actually up against.
Omicron was first discovered by scientists in South Africa. This is an effort that deserves worldwide applause. But it’s not meant to be.
Unhappily, South Africa is taking blames for bringing it to the world. Many naive news outlets are reporting Omicron to originate from South Africa.
If South Africa has such sophisticated health facilities to discover this new variant and alert the world of it, they must be honoured. And praised for working with the world without covering up vital information that could help save lives. Also, it means their health system is at par with the so-called developed world.
The stigma results in some countries placing travel bans on South Africa and several others from southern Africa.
This action is primaeval.
We’ve been living with COVID for two years. Leaders have experimented with various means to subdue the situation, such as total lockdowns, travel bans and many others. However, the most effective measure to date is vaccination.
Again, this sort of draconian action would deter others from disseminating any new information regarding COVID, knowing the consequences awaiting them.
It may be why China wasn’t forthcoming with information when COVID emerged from Wuhan.
They tightly kept a lid on all information and punished those who dared to speak out. The world condemned such an act, calling it undemocratic and inhumane.
Vaccines have proved very effective so far, with WHO pushing everyone on the planet to get a jab.
Regrettably, African countries are still struggling to secure vaccines for their people.
Most developed nations are hoarding the vaccines.
Their primary focus is on the well-being of their citizens. But covid is a pandemic, a world tragedy. Until everyone gets free from it, we are all not.
These stingy nations should be ashamed of themselves and bury their heads in the sand with profound apologies.
COVID is not an African disease like Ebola or Malaria. Where the world could turn its back and move on as if nothing happened. Our health is interrelated.
So the travel ban on South Africa is unfounded.
It will only choke out the country’s economy.
Omicron is also detected in the UK, Italy and Germany.
It’s not a South African disease.
Going forward: the world needs to encourage nations to be honest and willing to share valuable information without the fear of repercussion. Travel bans, closing borders wouldn’t do much to curb the spread.
We need to understand that COVID is part of us. Therefore, we have to continue washing hands and wearing masks.
Vaccines are effectively playing their part. And soon, we’ll have a variety of treatments for COVID.