Why Is Africa To Blame For The Omicron Variant?

The coronavirus had the whole world on halt when it became a worldwide pandemic in 2020. Many lives were lost to the deadly virus, and every day new cases still spring up across the world. Thankfully, vaccines were created to contain the spread of this disease and individuals were tasked with the responsibility of protecting themselves and others from this scourge. Just when everything seemed to be returning to normal, a new variant sprang up discovered by South African scientists; it was first detected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and South Africa on November 14, 2021 South Africa.

It was named Omicron by WHO and November 26, 2021, classified as a variant of concern. As a result of this discovery in South Africa, several African countries were slammed with travel bans drawing in worldwide criticism and accusations of scapegoating and racism. Many pointed out that infectious diseases have always been blamed on foreigners inciting violence and discrimination against a particular group. It was also pointed out that these viruses are still rapidly spread despite these bans and restrictions. Migration undoubtedly has a part in spreading infectious diseases, but it is not the only thing to blame. The discovery of omicron by South African scientists should have fostered cooperation with other scientists globally; instead, the country is being punished. The travel ban projected to severely affect their tourism industry.

Dutch health authorities established that the Omicron variant was detected in Europe a week before it was found in Southern Africa, making the claims of the virus originating in Africa baseless. While new cases pop up in Europe, many African countries have been faring well, making you wonder if the variant was imported to Africa instead of being exported to Europe.

We can only hope that the reports of omicron being a mild variant is proven to be true to prevent the start of another significant pandemic that shuts the whole world down.