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Omicron: Over the 1960s, vulnerabilities need to postpone travel due to Omicron: WHO

Geneva: WHO said Tuesday that a total travel ban cannot stop the epidemic of Omicron variants, but Covid’s vulnerable people, including those over the age of 60, should postpone their plans to travel abroad.
Omicron, a variant of the new Covid-19 concern that the World Health Organization states poses a “very high” risk globally, has urged many countries to close their borders.
“Blanket travel bans do not impede international spread and they place a heavy burden on people’s lives and livelihoods,” WHO said in a travel advice statement on Omicron.
“In addition, they can adversely affect global health efforts during a pandemic by forcing the country to stop reporting and sharing epidemiological and sequencing data.”
Omicron, first reported to WHO less than a week after its discovery in southern Africa earlier this month, has already appeared in several countries.
WHO noted that an increasing number of governments are introducing travel measures, such as temporarily banning arrivals from countries where variants have been found.
As of Sunday, WHO said 56 countries are implementing travel measures aimed at potentially delaying imports of new variants.
“Omicron variants are expected to be detected in more and more countries as state authorities step up surveillance and sequencing activities,” he said.
“People who are at risk of dying from poor health or severe Covid-19 infections, such as those over the age of 60 and those with comorbidities (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.), should postpone their trip. I need to advise, “WHO said.
WHO advised countries to apply an “evidence-based risk-based approach” when implementing travel measures.
The United Nations health agency said state authorities in countries of departure, transit and arrival could apply mitigation measures that could delay or reduce the import and export of variants.
They may include passenger screening, testing, and quarantine.
“All measures are risk-worthy, time-limited and should be applied with respect to the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of the traveler.”
WHO said that “essential overseas travel”, including humanitarian missions, repatriation and transportation of important goods, should always be prioritized during a pandemic.
Earlier on Tuesday, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed Member States to stay calm and take “reasonable” steps in response to Omicron.
“We urge all member states to take reasonable and proportional risk mitigation measures,” he said.
“The global response needs to be calm, coordinated and coherent.”
Tedros emphasized that it remains unclear how dangerous the variants are.
“There are more questions than answers about the effects of Omicron on infections, the severity of the disease, tests, treatments, and the effectiveness of vaccines,” he said.
The WHO chief said it is understandable that countries want to protect their citizens “from varieties that they do not yet fully understand.”
“But I likewise say that some Member States have introduced blunt, comprehensive measures that are not evidence-based or effective in their own right and only exacerbate inequality. I’m worried. ”



Omicron: Over the 1960s, vulnerabilities need to postpone travel due to Omicron: WHO

Source link Omicron: Over the 1960s, vulnerabilities need to postpone travel due to Omicron: WHO

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