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EDITORIAL

Why Omicron didn't frighten Kenya

Many asymptomatics and "holiday vaccine bubbles"

10-01-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

The holidays in Kenya are over, and so is Covid-19.
We are paraphrasing the well-known proverb not so much because the virus has decided to leave the African country, but more because of the incidence of serious cases and deaths that it has had in this period of great mixing and freedom granted by the vacations at the end of the year and beginning of 2022.
As of yesterday, most Kenyans in Nairobi and foreign tourists who stayed in vacation destinations have returned home to resume work. During the holidays, the cases of Covid-19, as expected, have significantly increased but this fact has not put in great crisis the health sector, nor has caused serious damage to the health of those who stayed in hotels or private homes. Considering the high number of vaccinated people among those traveling (almost all of them, also thanks to the government decree that from December 21 obliges hotels and restaurants to ask their guests for a vaccination certificate), the risk was already reduced.
Vaccines inoculated in the country have reached the threshold of 11 million and it is to be calculated that those who have been vaccinated belong to the medium-high brackets of Kenyans, or those who can afford to go on vacation and attend hotels and clubs, as well as the staff of the same tourist facilities. The 16.5% of Kenyans are already ready to receive the so-called "booster" and already some thousands of Kenyans, since last week, have put themselves on the list.
So if a sort of "natural bubble" has been created in destinations such as Watamu or Diani, for example, or in the lodges of national parks and reserves, it must be said that it was the Omicron variant that decreed the non-dangerousness of the virus. Fears may have been legitimate, but in light of the facts, Omicron in Kenya turned out to be much milder than in the West, and almost all individuals found positive turned out to be asymptomatic. The Kenya Research Medical Institute talks about 95%, with about 70% being Omicron variant.
Nine months after the publication of the book "La pandemia in Africa, l'ecatombe che non c'è stata" (Rosenberg & Sellier Editore) that I wrote with my colleague Angelo Ferrari, the international press has also realized that Sub-Saharan Africa in particular has not suffered much because of the different incarnations of Covid-19. The reasons are varied and all described in the book, from climate to life in the open air, from lower stress to lower average age and many others, all of which contribute to avoiding serious problems for poor health systems and situations that could easily get out of control.
Even the Corriere della Sera in recent days has dedicated a page of the newspaper to the topic.
This is not an invitation to lower our guard nor to be easy-going, it is simply an observation. There have been sporadic cases, even among Italians and also vaccinated, of people hospitalized. Many of them also have previous pathologies.

TAGS: bolle kenyavaccini kenyaomicron kenya

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