Implication Of Omicron Variant Red-Listing Of Nigeria By Uk Government On Nigerian Citizens (Case Study Of Public Perception)
1.1 Background of the study
The globe was rocked by a pandemic of severe respiratory sickness known as Covid-19. The viral infection is quickly spreading over the world. Droplet transmission, contact with an infected case, and contact with contaminated fomites are all ways for the virus to spread. After a cluster of pneumonia outbreaks was reported in late December 2019 from Wuhan, China, the illness was first identified. Using next-generation sequencing technologies, a new human coronavirus (HCoV) was isolated from these patients, identified as a beta coronavirus, and tentatively called 2019 novel corona virus (2019-nCoV). The virus was called “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus” (SARS-CoV2) by the International Committee on Virus Taxonomy on February 11, 2020, and COVID-19 by the World Health Organization ( Esther,2012).
The outbreak of fatal respiratory illnesses in Wuhan, China prompted speculation that SARS-CoV2 was a laboratory-manipulated virus. However, based on the RBD on the SARS-CoV2, a study published in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020 by (Akanni,2020) concluded that SARS-CoV2 is not a laboratory-manipulated virus. SARS-CoV-2 possesses an RBD that binds to ACE2 in humans, ferrets, cats, and other animals with similar receptors. According to WHO, coronaviruses are a category of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious illnesses including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) (2019). It was initially passed down from animals to humans. Several coronaviruses that have not yet infected people are circulating in animals. The spread of these infections in Nigeria has put the government in a bind. As a result, the government took extraordinary steps and created legislation requiring all persons and sectors, including companies, to comply with the internationally stated Covid-19 regulations or face legal consequences. South Africa, however, just a year after the corona virus epidemic, reported to the World Health Organization the discovery of a novel SARS-CoV-2 strain, B.1.1.529 (WHO). B.1.1.529 was initially discovered in specimens taken in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and in South Africa on November 14, 2021. Since then, South Africa has discovered B.1.1.529 in samples taken on November 8, 2021. The first incidence of B.1.1.529 was reported in the United States on December 1, 2021, in a person returning from a trip to South Africa (HDRS,2021). On December 2, 2021, a second case was reported in an individual with no prior overseas travel history who similarly attended a conference in the days leading up to symptom start. In addition to Europe, the Omicron variation has been found in travel-related cases in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Individuals without a history of travel to southern Africa have been documented in a few nations, including the United States. The WHO designated Omicron as a VOC based on epidemiological evidence showing a surge in illnesses in South Africa in recent weeks, coinciding with Omicron discovery. Omicron has a number of alarming spike protein changes, some of which have been linked to lower sensitivity to existing monoclonal antibody treatments or reduced neutralization by convalescent and vaccinee sera in other variations (HDRS,2021). Due to concerns “about immunological evasion and possibly greater transmisibility compared to the Delta variation,” the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control designated this variant as a VOC. 4 The US Department of Health and Human Services formed the SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG), which is in charge of variant classifications in the US. I The SIG meets on a regular basis to assess the danger presented by SARS-CoV-2 variations circulating in the United States and across the world, as well as to offer suggestions on variant categorization. The SIG decided to identify the Omicron version as a Variant of Concern on November 30, 2021. (VOC). This decision is based on a number of factors, including the detection of Omicron cases in multiple countries, including among those with no travel history, transmission and replacement of Delta as the predominant variant in South Africa, the number and locations of substitutions in the spike protein, and available data for other variants with fewer substitutions in the spike protein, indicating a reduction in neutralization by vaccine and convalescent sera. The United States has classed two variations as VOCs: Omicron and Delta. Two verified instances of the Omicron strain have been found in the United States as of December 2, 2021, and other probable Omicron cases are being examined.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Covid-19’s severe and lethal nature has necessitated a number of limitations and preventative measures to limit its spread over the world, since the virus has the power to kill a person within seven days of contact (HDRS,2020). However, in response to the emergence of the omicron version in Nigeria, the United Kingdom government has decided to put Nigeria on the red list in order to prevent the variant’s spread. Furthermore, the UK government cites several reasons for red listing a country, including the quality of its testing structures, including checking for variants, the number of cases identified by those systems, whether people have been catching new variants there or the cases have come from elsewhere, and whether it has exported cases of new variants to other countries, including the UK (Akanni,2020). The UK government, on the other hand, indicated that their study indicates a significant signal of Omicron in Nigeria, that numerous cases in the UK have been related to travel from Nigeria, and that Nigeria has substantial travel linkages with South Africa, where Omicron was originally diagnosed (Esther,2012). Since a consequence, the necessity to red list Nigeria has sparked outrage among Nigerians at home and abroad, as it would result in a restriction on flights from Nigeria, a loss of revenue for airline operators, and the inability of Nigerians in the UK to fly down for the holidays, among other things. Hence the need to look into Implication of Omicron Variant “Red-Listing” of Nigeria by UK government on Nigeria citizens.
1.3 Objective of the study
The primary objective of the study is as follows
- To evaluate public perception on what the omicron variant virus is all about.
- To evaluate public perception on how red listing of Nigeria will affect the profit of airline operators in Nigeria.
- To find out public perception on how the red listing will affect Nigerians in diaspora who would like to travel for the holidays.
- To examine public perception on how to protect oneself from the Omicron variant virus.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study
- What is the public perception on what the omicron variant virus is all about?
- What is the public perception on how red listing of Nigeria will affect the profit of airline operators in Nigeria?
- What is the public perception on how the red listing will affect Nigerians in diaspora who would like to travel for the holidays?
- What is the public perception on how to protect oneself from the Omicron variant virus?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study focuses on Implication of Omicron Variant “Red-Listing” of Nigeria by UK government on Nigeria citizens (Case study of public perception). Hence the study will be significant to the ministry of health as it will expose them to the need to educate the populace on prevention steps to use in other not to contact the virus
The study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature
1.6 Scope of the study
This study will evaluate public perception on what the omicron variant virus is all about. The study will also evaluate public perception on how red listing of Nigeria will affect the profit of airline operators in Nigeria. Furthermore, the study will find out public perception on how the red listing will affect Nigerians in diaspora who would like to travel for the holidays. Lastly, the study will examine public perception on how to protect oneself from the Omicron variant virus. Hence the study will be delimited to resident of Lagos state.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
1.8 Definition of terms
Omicron variant: The Omicron variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first reported to the World Health Organization from South Africa on 24 November 2021. On 26 November 2021, the WHO designated it as a variant of concern and named it after omicron, the fifteenth letter in the Greek alphabet
ACDC. (2020, may 25). Coronavirus Disease 2019. Retrieved from Africa CDC: https://africacdc.org/covid-19
Akanni, L. O. and Gabriel, S. C. (2020). The implication of COVID-19 on the Nigerian Economy. Centre For The Study Of The Economies Of Africa. Retrieved from cseaafrica.org.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, MAy 20). Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces,Businesses, Schools, and Homes|CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html
Esther, B., Ellen, M., Elizeus, R., Robert, C., Bart, C., Juliet, K., & Fred, N. (2012). Acceptability of masking and patient separation to control nosocomial tuberculosis in uganda: a qualitative study. Journal of Public Health, 599-606.
Health Department Republic of South Africa. (2020, May 5). GUIDELINES FOR QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION IN RELATION TO COVID-19 EXPOSURE AND INFECTION. Retrieved from www.nicd.ac.za: https://www.nicd.ac.za/wpcontent/uploads/2020/05/Guidelines-for-Quarantineand-Isolation-in-relation-to-COVID-19.pdf[email protected][email protected]