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Back to Square One?

 

Back to square one...The truth and evidence, how Disruptive Technologies are the game changer for everything and why the death toll on SARS-CoV-2 in Africa, may depend on innovative crises management!

The official figures do not say much in many African countries about SARS because not even the total number of deceased is counted correctly.

But a few resourceful people have thoughts of how you could still get good numbers: their idea, e.g. observe cemeteries, or i.e. the number of funerals. 
Some of those people counted by hand or by satellite.


According to this data, excess mortality was increased by 60 percent in the capital of Ethiopia during the month of April, when Addis Ababa 
 was hit by a second corona wave...while in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, local media recently reported that the number of funerals had quadrupled compared to the previous year.

In Lusaka, the Zambian capital, the administration announced in June that it is currently issuing three times as many funeral permits as before the pandemic. And in Somalia, satellite images showed that the number of newly created graves in Mogadiscio has been up to 2.2 times as high since the beginning of the pandemic.

After the last weeks global bashing of South Africa's political government about its reports on detecting the latest Covid-19 mutation, the RSA ordered this week 60 Million Viracidetm Masks, with the hope, that the new SAHPRA approved mask deactivates COVID-19 and  its variants in under one minute of contact – a news, that many western based News Agencies just ignored.

An indeed, today, Vitiprints LLC announced that the company received an order from South Africa for 60 million Viracidetm Masks. The SAHPRA-approved, 4-PLY medical-grade Viracidetm Masks features an antiviral and antibacterial (Nano) coating that provides an additional tool in the battle against COVID-19, which will initially be available in South Africa and neighboring countries Lesotho and Swaziland hopefully soon. 

The order placed by Uvukile Medical Supplies demonstrates the essential role of disruptive technologies, in this case based on Nano technology, to help stopping the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Africa and around the globe. "Viracidetm Masks will keep the people of Africa protected through this accessible and affordable medical device," said Vitiprints co-founder John Gentile.  He also said  "We believe that Viracidetm Masks are a critical health measure at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant." 

A report this week from South African epidemiologist, Salim Abdool Karim announced that South Africa is expecting new cases to top over 10,000 cases by the end of this week - per day! It has to be underlined that South Africa is indeed the first country to join The Viracidetm Deactivation Nation global campaign, a call to action for countries to join together and deactivate COVID-19 by encouraging citizens to wear a (Viracidetm) Mask. Due to the overwhelming efficacy of its proprietary coating, the company is in the final phase of completing test requirements for US FDA 510K and CE certification by December 2021. Upon pre-market certification from the FDA and CE, Viracidetm Masks will be available to government agencies, medical groups, and consumers in the US and throughout Europe.

Now, in anticpation of this news above, lets look at some other "common" arguments about Africa and its Covid challenges. And let us also look a little closer to the new virus variants that will arise where viruses can develop unhindered.

As it is well known, bad news rarely comes alone: So it was - if you maintain a fatalistic attitude - foreseeable that in addition to the exploding numbers of infections and overflowing intensive care units, a new corona variant would now be added.

And indeed, the new variant and future ones that are to come are by no means fate. And they are man made. They arise where people are exposed to the virus without protection. Like now in South Africa.

In order to make the world believe, the mantra is currently to vaccinate all those people who cannot afford vaccines or who do not have access to medical care, the WHO, CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) together with UNICEF have the COVAX initiative founded.

No doubt, a humanitarian initiative that anyone who reads or watches the news from time to time can be aware of it. On on the European Union stage, COVAX and the sometimes strange-looking distribution keys are present. With comic-like incidents, as the outgoing German Health Minister recently had to justify himself for 8.8 million Biontech vaccination doses given away to COVAX in the middle of the discussion about booster and first vaccinations.

Apparently, in times of need and in the face of the threat of the virus among us, the human humanitarian streak easily withers: we revolve around booster vaccinations, poor vaccination rates in our society, full football stadiums and military planes flying ICU patients across the country. In fact, our own upper arm is closest to us.

Despite, Omicron shows us what is probably the most dangerous gap in our pandemic (crises) management: the constant danger that a new variant will emerge that undermines our so painstakingly built defense strategies.

And it is important to note here that by now we have proof, COVID - 19 can also infect and be transmitted to vaccinated people; yes severe courses are lower, but it can also mutate in vaccinated people. This means that the criterion vaccinated / not vaccinated would be off the table.

An alternative reason could simply be also the sheer size of the population that might matter as a buffer. The more infected people - whether vaccinated or not - the more mutations.

So we can argue, that there are more often new mutations in poor countries because the overpopulation there is much greater. But every now and then there are new mutations from more industrial countries, lets remember the variant from the UK

This is where humanitarian aid comes back into play and gives a completely different weight to the truism that humanitarian aid primarily helps those who are helping! Because - to stay with Omicron - vaccinating the people in Africa and South Africa protects the West directly - and let that sink in:  "us" means NOT African but mainly Europeans, Americans and all other richer nations in the first place.

For more depth, just let us digest a few data figures:

On November 30th 2021, a total of 1,416,009 people had died of COVID-19 in Europe. In the United States, there were 778,601 people. This means that over 40 percent of the worldwide deaths from COVID-19 are to be mourned on the European continent and in the USA. However, these two richest regions on earth make up just 16 percent of the world's population.

It is noticeable that SARS-CoV-2 variants - with the exception of the alpha that was created in Great Britain - all come from BRICS countries, the five large countries in our world with emerging economies, but at the same time, very large social gaps: Gamma has developed in Brazil; Russia does not yet have its own variant; Coming from India, Delta has spread around the world; the pandemic originated in China and South Africa was even represented twice with new variants. Beta did not catch on in other regions, but was dominant in South Africa. And now Omicron.

What Omicron will bring the world is currently completely unclear – what we can see already, is erratic dramatization by politics - again. It is clear that this variant is strongly mutated compared to the original variant. Each of these mutations is already known, but not in the combination that Omicron developed. The focus is particularly on the surface protein that the virus uses to gain access to human cells - the spike protein - because this is the protein to which our immune system reacts and which is used for vaccination. The rest is pure speculation.

Researchers are concerned for good reasons, express this publicly and recommend vaccination because every vaccination - regardless of the variant - offers at least basic protection, they say (and we know that this can not be quetioned but the success depends on the individual disposition). German based firm 'Biontech' is working on a new vaccine that is adapted to the new mutations. Otherwise there is currently nothing to be said about it. We'll have to wait, even if it's difficult. Or maybe not?

So the question maybe asked: what is it all about reading and her about Viracidetm Masks, the New SAHPRA Approved Mask Deactivates COVID-19... is it just a plain marketing gig and PR hoax?

Lets shed some lights on the situation, applying for Africa.

What Omicron will bring us (in Africa) is currently completely unclear. What is clear is that this variant is strongly mutated compared to the original variant. Each of these mutations is already known, but not in the combination that Omicron developed.

A particular focus is on the surface protein that the virus uses to gain access to human cells - the spike protein - because this is the protein to which our immune system reacts and which is used for vaccination. 

So it's time to focus on the causes of the latest events: Therefore, let's stay in South Africa for the occasion.

South Africa currently has a vaccination rate of just 24.3 percent. The situation is similar or worse in the neighboring states. In South Africa, the virus has already ravaged massively in other variants, so statements about the mild course in those affected should be assessed with caution, because even if the virus is strongly mutated, the infection that has passed through offers a certain immune protection - as we do hope from the vaccinations to achieve. In addition, the South African population is very young: only six percent of the people are over 65 years old. This means that the patients have a higher probability of a milder course anyway.

However, what fundamentally differentiates the South African population from European countries and North America is the massive infection with HIV. About 25.6 million people in the sub-Saharan region are HIV positive. The situation is particularly difficult in South Africa. Over 20 percent of the population there is infected with the HI virus. And these people offer the virus a unique opportunity. It can train the weakened immune system of HIV-infected people to find out how to escape the immune response, which only works hesitantly and indecisively. If it changes host - and this host is not vaccinated - it can test its new abilities and, if it has gone well for the virus, start its journey around the world.

So we're back to the beginning of the COVID-19 „war“ and actually we are again at square one: Even if we triple-vaccinated, privileged industrialized nations don't care how the people in Africa, India or South America cope with COVID-19.

And sadly, if we don't help them fight the virus and just think to help them vaccinate as many as humanly possible, we will still have to live with the echo for the next few winters and years to come.

What we need is a disruptive (crises) management approach and a mixture of more testing centres in Africa, that are mobile and ensure the return of the (tourist) economy.

Only if this disruptive approach is being followed, Africa will succeed towards a better future, and will play the role it deserves for this world, the biggest economic growth zone there is – worlwide.




Hakuna matata - The Team of mavECOn

P.S.: Stay tune and come back soon to our next Blog subject:

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mavECOn plc. is a savy business strategy boutique consultancy. We approach obstacles not as problems but as the opportunities to improve your business success with an indepth mantra: a business is a commercial, profitable and scalable process, that must function without you!

As we are specialized in creating methodologies and the systematic interpretation of such forecast tools we do see the Future for Businesses under very different precursors than other Consultancies. And we can proof it!

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