General travel bans won’t stop Omicron from spreading, WHO says – .

General travel bans won’t stop Omicron from spreading, WHO says – .

Those over 60 and others at risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 should postpone their travel plans in light of the new omicron variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
This comes after the introduction of tighter border controls and tighter quarantine rules across the world in response to the new variant.

A new advisory released today says travelers should “stay alert” while scientific research is ongoing to understand the behavior of the variant.

The WHO advice reads: “All travelers should be reminded to remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, to get vaccinated when it is their turn and to follow health measures. public and social at any time and regardless of vaccination status. including using masks appropriately, observing physical distancing, following good respiratory etiquette, and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

“People who are not doing well or who are at risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying, including people aged 60 or older or those with co-morbidities (for example, heart disease, cancer and diabetes), should be advised to postpone their trip. “

WHO has also warned that blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of the new variant of omicron.

It comes after a number of countries including the UK, EU and US are among travel bans imposed on South Africa and other parts of Africa.

Currently, passengers arriving in the UK from 4 a.m. on Tuesday will be required to take a PCR test before the end of their second day after entering and self-isolate until they test negative, while 10 southern African countries have been added to the travel red list. .

The WHO advice reads: “Blanket travel bans will not prevent international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.” Additionally, they can negatively impact global health efforts during a pandemic by discouraging countries from reporting and sharing epidemiological and sequencing data.

“All countries should ensure that measurements are regularly reviewed and updated as new evidence becomes available on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Omicron or any other VOCs. “

It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was not known whether the most recent Omicron cases identified in the UK were linked to travel to South Africa.

He said at a press conference: “The cases that we identified at the start of the weekend, we were able to quickly confirm that they were related to a trip to South Africa. They were also part of a kind of family cluster.

“The recent cases that we have confirmed today, we are not in a position to say whether at this point … we do not know, we are doing this work right now at high speed to determine if they all have a connection. to South Africa or not.

“Is it likely that there is community transmission? I think we have to be realistic, it is probable, as we see in other European countries.

“And also, as I said earlier … we expect the number of cases to increase as we actively seek out cases, because after identifying the variant and our concerns about it, the UKHSA is actively reviewing anyone who has traveled to South Africa in the last 10 days or so, and look for these cases and of course take action if they find them.

during this time, Eight more cases of the omicron variant have been confirmed in England according to the British Health Safety Agency (UKHSA).

The total number of cases involving the variant in England so far is 13.


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