Clem Sunter, 2 March 2020
In a book published in 2015 entitled Flagwatching, I wrote about how important it was to identify the flags changing the world as we know it. One of the flags was the increasing likelihood of a global pandemic due to higher rates of international travel and the growing concentration of people in megacities. Likewise, the transmission of viruses across different species was a major concern as was the appearance of multi-drug resistant varieties of bacteria.
I ended up by quoting Louis Pasteur, the remarkable 19th century French microbiologist, who in a moment of pessimism said: “It is the microbes that will have the last word.”
The coronavirus, alternatively called COVID-19, is now spreading so quickly around the world that, despite the containment measures taken by China where the virus originated, it now exists on every continent other than Antarctica. How significant a threat it poses to humankind in general has to be explored in scenarios.
The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.