Kumar Gunness : It has been proven without any doubt that vaccination protects and that the benefits far outweigh the risks

Kumar Gunness : It has been proven without any doubt that vaccination protects and that the benefits far outweigh the risks

Q1: How is Unicorn doing after the 2nd lockdown?

Kumar Gunness: The first lockdown was a harrowing experience for the Mauritian population and nobody knew what would be the outcome or how long it would last. A lot of apprehension, fear and panic prevailed.

Fortunately, during the second lockdown, with the arrival of vaccines, there was more certainty and everyone was much more in control of the situation. Moreover, the panic buying and hoarding which occurred last year did not happen this time.

Our supply chains have improved considerably and there has been no real shortage of products. There has been no fear among the staff members and we could almost operate normally. The authorities were also more organized to deliver access permits for our front line staffs. The only issue we are facing this time is the constant devaluation of the Mauritian Rupee vis a vis the foreign currencies, in particular, EUR and USD and the steep increases in freight rates.  As a consequence, our import bills have increased massively, leading to an increased requirement of capital and increased prices.

However, we should consider ourselves lucky as, contrary to many firms, we have been able to work and supply the market with the essential drug supplies.

Q2: Tell us about the vaccination plan for Unicorn team.

Kumar Gunness:  I was the first one to be vaccinated in the company. I wanted to send the right message to all my colleagues .we have encouraged all our employees to get vaccinated as we believe that it is the surest way of protecting themselves and their colleagues. There has been some hesitancy among some of the staff members because of the various negative comments in the media about vaccines. Our job was to talk to everyone to give them reassurance and provide them the support they need to get vaccinated.  As at date, we have a very high percentage of staff vaccinated and we hope to get all of them vaccinated soon.

Q3: What are your views on the various vaccination strategies?

Kumar Gunness: I believe that it has been proven without any doubt that vaccination protects and that the benefits far outweigh the risks. Every day, we are witnessing how with the rise of uptake of vaccines in UK and USA, the number of deaths caused by complications due to Covid are diminishing. Besides, the concept of vaccination to protect against various diseases have existed for many decades and there should not be undue apprehension. In our country, I believe we have reached around 20% of fully vaccinated people .We must ensure that this figure increases to enable us to open our borders and allow the economy to be rekindled.

I believe that we must use every means available to convince people to get vaccinated and I agree completely with all the strategies being used by government to gently drive unconvinced people to do the right thing including the denial of access in various institutions. As an example, when government stated that right of access to hospitals and clinics will be granted to all those vaccinated only and to those with negative PCR tests, we had to ensure that our medical representatives  were vaccinated and that they carry their vaccination certificates with them.

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