New Covid-19 variant sends world into panic

by | Nov 27, 2021 | COVID 19, Local News | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

The discovery of a more furious variant of the Covid-19 in Southern Africa has unsettled the world at a time when all indications were pointing out of the woods.

According to a recent report by the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the B.1.1.529 variant, now known as Omicron, was first detected in Botswana before it quickly spread to South Africa where up to 77 cases have been recorded, is potentially the most lethal of all variants discovered to date.
Omicron is now classified as a variant of concern.

“The B.1.1.529 variant displays multiple mutations across the virus genome, including more than 30 in the region which encodes the spike protein responsible for virus entry into host cells,” said the CDC statement.

“Some of the mutations have been detected in previous variants such as the Alpha and Delta, and have been associated with increased transmissibility and immune invasion”.

Rwanda’s Ministry of Health has issues a statement committing all travellers into the country to a mandatory 24-hour quarantine in designated hotels at their own cost, starting November 28, 2021.

” Following confirmation of a serious new Covid-19 variant first detected in Southern Africa, the Ministry of Health is reinstating the obligatory 24-hour quarantine in designated hotels (at own expense) for all persons arriving into Rwanda effective Sunday 28 November 2021 at noon,” said Kigali in a statement.

The United Kingdom, being the first to issue travel restrictions, has been criticised for acting irresponsibly when they became the first to relax Covid-19 control measures such as wearing masks and social distancing, yet they have become the first to punish nations from the global South through travel restrictions for being honest in reporting the variant to the world.

Rwanda, Israel and the United Arab Emirates become the latest to issue strict travel restrictions to travellers from the global South. Such restrictions as self-quarantine have been adopted in these countries to all inbound travellers.

A dark cloud of uncertainty thus hangs on the horizon as another total world economic shutdown is looms.

This glaring reality is a direct slap in the face to such countries as Zimbabwe that have religiously implemented and followed strict Covid-19 protocols and pushed the bar in vaccine administration and rollout.

To date over 3.6 million people have been vaccinated in Zimbabwe following a very successful government driven sensitisation and vaccination program.

It also serves as a rude awakening to those countries whose populations have largely resisted the vaccination program.

Such countries as Zambia which hardly have known effective enforcement of Covid-19 health protocols, and whose vaccine uptake remain negligible, remain at high risk of severe effects of the new lethal variant with loss of lives inevitable.