Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Botswana ranked safest country in Africa in 2020

The British media, and Fleet Street Clinic travel expert have ranked Botswana the safest country in Africa to visit in 2020.

With the Coronavirus and global terrorism scares, Express.co.uk spoke to Dr Richard Darwood, Medical Director at independent medical practice Fleet Street Clinic and a specialist in travel medicine, who shared his top 10 destinations.

Botswana which is the only country in Africa that made the cut was ranked 7th in the whole world behind Iceland, New Zealand, Greenland, Chile, Portugal, Slovenia and ahead of Canada, USA and the UK.

The reports is also based on the Institute for Economics and Peace’s latest Global Peace Index (GPI) and the 2020 travel risk map of International SOS (the world’s largest medical and travel security services firm) and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) terrorism risk ratings.

The report states: “Botswana is an African country famed for its safaris – and is the most peaceful country in Africa, according to the GPI, coming in at 30th globally.

It has a “low” travel security risk and a “medium” travel medical risk (one of only a handful of African nations to rank thus – most others have a higher risk). No coronavirus cases have yet been reported in Botswana.

“Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Botswana, attacks can’t be ruled out,” said the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The travel medical expert observed that, “although the growing number of coronavirus cases seems scary it is import to keep in mind that the risks to travellers are still incredibly small.

“Out of the nearly 40 or so countries in which cases of COVID-19 have occurred, case numbers in the vast majority of these countries are still only in single or double digits. What’s more, many of these cases relate primarily to repatriations from China, subsequently holding them in quarantine. Not a single case has so far been linked to air travel.

“Coronaviruses spread most easily in busy, crowded environments, so now might be a good time to enjoy open spaces and the outdoors.”

International SOS classes the USA as having a “low” travel medical risk and a “low” travel security risk.

Unfortunately, America doesn’t fare very well on the GPI, only coming in at 128th place.

The FCO states: “Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in the USA. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should monitor media reports and remain vigilant at all times.”

However, by sticking to the countryside and national parks, these risks are greatly minimised.

“Around 3.8 million British nationals visit the USA every year. Most visits are trouble free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel,” advised the FCO.

The UK comes in 45th position on the GPI but has a “low” travel security risk.

According to the FCO: “The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is substantial,” which means “an attack is likely.”

In total, 20 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the UK, but, if one sticks to “highlands and islands” this shouldn’t cause too much concern, ditto for terrorism.

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