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In a statement, Kamageo said that certain UK news outlets are carrying misleading stories claiming that The Duchess of Sussex is not visiting Zambia with The Duke due to “fears over the ZIKA virus”.
“Whilst we cannot speculate regarding the Duchess’ travel arrangements, we can confidently confirm the virus is not, nor ever has been in Zambia. The World Health Organisation; Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Centre for Disease, Control & Prevention, all advise that there is currently no risk of Zika when travelling to Zambia,”Kamageo said.
The Duke – whose visit to Zambia started today – has frequently visited the region including Malawi and Botswana. This has helped to increase interest in this area, where tourism is a major contributor to GDP and especially helpful in increasing employment, and providing funds for health facilities and schools
The British High Commission in Lusaka stated that “HRH The Duke of Sussex takes a special interest in Southern Africa and is assured a warm Zambian welcome during his first official visit to Lusaka.” A statement from the Zambia High Commission in London comments “Zambia has never experienced any Zika case and has not been listed as a country that is prone to the disease.”
Furthermore, they have written to the media stating “We understand that there is freedom of speech, but editors should know that freedom comes with responsibility. Such unresearched and irresponsible reporting has the potential of damaging a country’s tourism and business prospects”. They have rightly demanded a public apology and retraction of the story.
Tim Henshall, spokesperson of Zambia Tourism UK added” Travellers have started to contact UK tour operators to cancel holidays to Zambia. I am pleased to say this is totally unnecessary”.
The country that is famous for the unmissable Victoria Falls, wild and authentic game viewing in the Luangwa Valley, the magnificence of the mighty Zambezi River, the wide-open wilderness of Kafue and amazing tribal festivals can be visited with the peace of mind that there is no risk of the Zika virus.