(Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
WHO – In a space of a few days, southern Africa found itself cut off from the rest of the world following the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) named Omicron.
Last week South Africa discovered the B.1.1.529 variant and reported it as per protocol, the rest of the world just seemed to lose it. First, the United Kingdom announced travel bans to and from South Africa and the rest of southern Africa.
It was then joined by the rest of Europe and other countries. The detection of the new variant seemed to have caught many countries by surprise, despite warnings by global experts that such an outbreak was likely because of previous mutations of the virus.
So far, about 30 countries have imposed travel restrictions from some countries, mostly southern African countries because of their interlinkages. China has closed the border to everyone except returning residents and special permit holders. Japan has shut out everyone, as has Morocco, the only country in Africa to take such drastic measures.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa announced fresh Covid-19 regulations which now require all returning residents to undergo PCR testing and quarantine at their own cost even with negative PCR test.
However, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruptive waves that continue to result in international travel bans, the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ) plans to mount a 2022 vigorous campaign, in order to maintain Zimbabwe’ status as one of Africa’s most attractive hunting destinations.
International hunting has emerged as one of the most promising industries whose revenue has great potential to support wildlife and habitat conservation in southern African hunting areas, including Zimbabwe at the same time funding rural infrastructure development. The international hunting benefits have accordingly made rural communities co-existing with wildlife value it more and in turn, continue to see the need to conserve it and its habitat.
Therefore, the SOAZ’s drive to continue promoting Zimbabwe as a must-visit international hunting destination by hunters worldwide has great potential to boost the funding for wildlife and habitat conservation as well as socio-economic development in hunting communities dotted all over the country.