Editor's Comment

Leverage Covid ranking

THE ranking of Zambia as the 4th safest destination out of 70 countries with verifiable data during the COVID-19 pandemic is no mean achievement given how ‘developed’ countries with more resources have struggled with the pandemic.
Zambia should, therefore, make the most of this ranking by enticing more visitors who would rekindle the tourism sector and other sectors that lost business due to drastically reduced foreign arrivals.
According to an article published on the Wego Travel Blog website, titled ‘safe places to travel to during COVID-19 pandemic’, of the 70 countries with sufficient data and testing, only six were ranked as “safe” to travel to.  Zambia is among them.
Australia ranked first in the global safe destinations for travel during the coronavirus pandemic, followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Zambia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
Zambia ranked fourth with 264 examinations and 0.7 percent new cases per one million people.
The first two cases, of COVID-19 in Zambia were reported in March, this year.
To date, out of a population of about 18 million people, Zambia has recorded 17,608 cases cumulatively with 357 COVID-19-related deaths. The total number of recoveries stands at 16,983 with 268 cases still active.
Zambia should be grateful that despite limited resources, it has contained the pandemic with most COVID centres closing down due to negligible infections.
Zambia’s ranking comes at a time when countries across the globe including South Africa, USA and UK among others are still under siege because the pandemic has persisted, and ferociously so.
The ranking underscores the fact that Zambia is doing the right thing in collective efforts to fight the pandemic.
When the two cases were recorded, Zambia, like many other countries, acted swiftly and firmly to implement measures-aimed curbing the pandemic.
Besides establishing COVID centres where patients could be kept and treated, Government implemented preventive measures, among them restrictions and in some cases a ban of public gatherings including some businesses, schools and churches.
Government, through the Ministry of Health, has consistently conducted tests and provided up-to- date information on the pandemic.
Through the updates, the nation and the world at large have been well informed about the number of infections, recoveries and deaths.
Perhaps this is why it has been easy for Wego Travel to verify the data on COVID-19 and rate the country accordingly.
This is a job well done by the Ministry of Health for consistently and tirelessly working hard to ensure that the COVID situation is under control.
We also commend the medical personnel who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to the extent of putting their lives in harm’s way. Sadly, others lost their lives in the process of saving lives.
It is, however, comforting to know that the efforts of these brave men and women have helped to keep Zambia as one of the safest places in the world in as far as COVID-19 is concerned.
Zambians must commend themselves for adhering to laid down Covid-19 regulations – not perfectly well, but fairly well.
The ranking will no doubt open up the country to tourism opportunities that were shattered due to the pandemic.
Needless to say tourism, because of its travel nature, was one of the sectors most affected by COVID-19.
Many hotels and tourism sites were deserted as travel was put on hold in a bid to contain the pandemic.
Zambia has lost huge sums of revenue in the tourism sector due to travel bans.
It is, however, elating that with the positive report, Zambia’s tourism sector can be revived once again.
Tourists can be assured that it is safe once again to come to Zambia. Investors, too, can now start flocking in numbers knowing that their lives are not at risk. However, this does not mean doing away with health guidelines on preventing COVID-19.
It simply means tourists and investors can now visit Zambia under the new normal guidelines of masking up, sanitising and social distancing.
Zambia should use the ranking to encourage more tourists and investors to come to Zambia. This will no doubt help put the country on its economic recovery path.




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