WHO opposes travel ban to stop spread of Omicron variant

L'OMS s'oppose à l'interdiction des voyages comme moyen de prévenir la propagation de la variante Omicron

AA / Ankara / Merv Berker

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that temporary travel restrictions will not stop the spread of the Omicron version of Covid-19, adding that all countries should incorporate travel-related measures into their strategy to fight the deadly virus.

On its website, the organization first thanked South Africa and Botswana “for their efforts in monitoring and sequencing, as well as for their speed and transparency.”

These efforts have enabled other countries to adapt to the situation, act promptly and respond effectively to such threats, the WHO said, urging all other countries to act in a similar manner.

“More and more countries are expected to detect the Omicron variant as national authorities step up their monitoring and sequencing operations,” the statement posted on the site said.

“WHO is closely monitoring the spread of the Omicron variant, and studies are underway to better understand these mutations and their impact on the virus’s infectivity, its virulence, diagnosis, treatments to be adopted and vaccines”, Press It’s called release.

The WHO has also advised all countries on how to deal with the Omicron variant.

“It is recommended that countries continue to apply an evidence-based and risk-based approach when implementing travel measures, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (IHR),” the same source said.

He added: “National authorities in countries of departure, transit and arrival may implement a multi-pronged risk reduction approach to reduce potential delays and/or export or import of the new variant”.

“These measures may include screening of passengers prior to travel and/or upon arrival, particularly through the use of tests for SARS-CoV-2 or the imposition of quarantine on international travellers,” notes l’WHO.

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“All measures must be risk-proportionate, limited in time and implemented with respect to the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of travellers, as underlined by the IHR (2005),” underlined the WHO press release does.

“Extensive travel restrictions will not stop the spread on a global scale, especially because they seriously affect people’s lives and livelihoods. In addition, they can negatively impact efforts. Health issues during pandemics By discouraging countries from reporting and sharing epidemiological and sequencing data,” the statement continued.

“All countries should ensure that measurements are regularly reevaluated and updated when new data on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Omicron or any other type of concern become available,” it said.

The World Organization also recommended that “any measures to reduce travel-related risks be part of a common response strategy at the national level.”

“Essential international travel – including travel for emergency and humanitarian missions, travel of essential personnel, repatriation and freight transport of essential goods – must be an absolute priority during the Covid-19 pandemic,” WHO underlined.

WHO also reminds all travelers to be alert to signs and symptoms of Covid-19, to get vaccinated when it is their turn, and to follow health instructions in all circumstances and regardless of their condition . Vaccination, especially by “using” masks appropriately, respecting social distancing and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated places”.

“People with a serious illness associated with Covid-19 or at risk of suffering or dying from it, especially those aged 60 years or more or those with multiple chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer and diabetes) should be recommended. For example), to postpone his visit, ”adds the press release of the international organization.

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On 25 November, South African scientists announced the discovery of the Omicron variant, which has several mutations that can lead to the risk of reinfection. Cases of the same type have since been discovered in several Western countries.

The WHO on Friday dubbed the version an “omicron”, calling it “worrisome”.

According to Johns Hopkins University, since December 2019, the pandemic has killed more than 5.21 million people in at least 192 countries and territories around the world, with more than 262.7 million cases recorded worldwide.

*Translated from English by Mourad Belhajo


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