Miss Culture Int’l Philippines bet Samela Godin arrives in South Africa amid Omicron threat

November 29, 2021 - 5:59 PM
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Samela Godin
Samela Godin crowned as Miss Culture International Philippines 2021 in this photo taken by Joy Arguil and posted on Godin's Instagram on Nov. 6, 2021. (Photo from Instagram/samelaaubrey)

Filipinos prayed for the safety of Miss Culture International Philippines 2021 Samela Godin who arrived in South Africa over the weekend for the upcoming Miss Culture International pageant.

The top 24 finalist of the Miss World Philippines 2021 is representing the country in the inaugural edition of the Africa-based beauty pageant which would be held in the city of Johannesburg on December 4.

The licensed teacher was crowned as the country’s representative at the Karma Lounge on November 6.

The Miss Culture International is a platform that was created to empower and showcase beauty and fashion talent globally.

Its purpose is to bring together women from diverse cultures to learn from one another and find common ground in the pursuit of a transformation and change agenda, according to its website.

The organizer, Miss Culture International, manages pageants in order to unite people from diverse cultures, learn from each other and celebrate different cultures through beauty and fashion.

The pageant’s head office is in Cape Town, South Africa.

Godin, according to her Instagram, has arrived in the country on Sunday.

“Touchdown (South Africa flag emoji). Arrived safe and sound. Laban tayo Pilipinas! (Philippine flag emoji),” she wrote in a post.

Godin’s arrival is also the same day that the Philippines has banned flights from some African and European countries as preventive measures against the entry of Omicron variant, the new COVID-19 variant of concern that was initially detected in South Africa.

The government has so far placed the following territories under “Red List“: Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique.

The Omicron variant carries a high number of mutations that have been considered “concerning and may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility,” according to the World Health Organization.

“Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (i.e., people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), as compared to other variants of concern, but information is limited. More information on this will become available in the coming days and weeks,” it said in its November 28 update.

“At the present time, WHO is coordinating with a large number of researchers around the world to better understand Omicron. Studies currently underway or underway shortly include assessments of transmissibility, severity of infection (including symptoms), performance of vaccines and diagnostic tests, and effectiveness of treatments,” it added.

In view of the health concerns, Godin’s supporters and other pageant fans sent her well wishes and hoped for her safety amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

“Ingat, Miss Philippines,” a Filipino on Facebook said in response to reports that she has flown to South Africa.

“Good luck, ingat iha (hija),” another online user said.

“Naku ingat po. Galingan, good luck! At quarantine (nang) extra extra, ‘wag mag-shortcuts,” a different fan commented.

“Stay safe!!!!!! Super ingat ka diyan, Ms (Philippines),” another Filipino wrote with a Philippine flag emoji.

The Palace said that inbound international travel of all persons, regardless of vaccination status, coming from or who have been to red list countries, jurisdictions or territories within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port of the Philippines, shall not be allowed.

Only Filipinos returning to the country via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and so-called Bayanihan flights will be allowed entry to the Philippines.

They will be subjected to existing entry, testing, and quarantine protocols designated for travelers from “red list” countries.