South African tourism is currently at the mercy of rising COVID numbers and the recent announcement that a new variant has been found, as the country and the world rush to create a solid line of defence while numbers continue to climb.
In recent weeks Europe has seen hospital beds fill up with COVID cases as governments desperately try to regain control by urging individuals to get vaccinated, along with receiving boosters. However, the numbers show no signs of slowing down as the continent battles this alongside violent protests with the death toll reaching 1.5 million, reports IOL.
In a race to get ahead of the new variant, Britain has placed South Africa, along with several other African countries back on its infamous Red List.
In a statement released by Britain’s health agency chief Jenny Harries, this may be the most significant variant authorities have come across.
“This is the most significant variant we have encountered to date and urgent research is underway to learn more about its transmissibility, severity and vaccine-susceptibility.”
Hospital beds in Germany have been filling up as Chancellor Angela Merkel urged stringent controls, while France has ramped up their booster shot efforts as five-year-olds were given the green light to get the jab earlier this week, reports Euractiv.
Despite these efforts, scientists fear that the emergence of this new variant could undo months of work towards a virus-free future. However, WHO is reportedly monitoring the situation and will determine whether it should be classified as a variant of “interest” or “concern.”
Back in South Africa, many of the cases for the new variant have been detected in Gauteng. Health authorities remain on high alert as the public is urged to remain responsible as numbers continue to spike.