Since the outbreak of Ebola in December 2013 the world has panicked. The three countries affected – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – are on the west coast of the continent of Africa, some 5650 kms, or 3500 miles, from South Africa. And yet, so many people still think it is not safe to come to South Africa on holiday.
Not one case of Ebola has been reported in South Africa but there were some in Europe and the USA. I repeat, none in South Africa.
Deaths so far: close on 10,000 – not one in South Africa.
New cases are still being reported but the number of new cases is slowing down and this is good news. It shows the disease is being controlled and those numbers are expected to continue dropping. Not one case in South Africa.
Airlines, hotels, and tour operators have suffered financially as people cancel their holidays to this country, fearing the disease which is so far away. Some small companies may even have collapsed completely due to cancellation policies that force them to refund clients but themselves do not receive a refund from the service providers they have already paid. All this despite not a single case reported in the whole of South Africa.
The economies of the affected countries and those hoping to do business there have been hard-hit by the outbreak of this disease but a slow recovery is being seen. Still no Ebola in South Africa.
The South African government went into action fast with precautionary screening at airports, a ban on travel to and from affected countries. South Africa has a sophisticated health care system with some of the world’s best doctors, but no Ebola!
Just because Ebola is on the African continent does not mean it is in South Africa! This is a continent, and a very large one, with 55 different countries. Africa is not a country. Africa has many borders and there are over ten between us and the nearest Ebola-hit country.
South Africa is further away from Ebola than Europe! Has tourism to Spain dropped? If not, why not? They are only 3594 km (2233 miles) away from the Ebola-hit countries of West Africa! Even Rio de Janeiro is closer to Ebola than Johannesburg!
Despite the facts, despite the distances, many tourists are still scared to come to South Africa for a holiday. Why? The correct information is freely available. Are travel agents uninformed? Are embassies and consulates not giving out the facts? Do people still think this continent is a homogeneous mass of one people, no borders, no control, no preventative measures in place?
There is no Ebola in South Africa!