Driving the news: The WHO said on Monday that the Omicron variant poses a “very high” risk and may be more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.
- Although the WHO has acknowledged that there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of further potential spread of Omicron around the world is “high.”
What they say : People “who are not doing well or are at risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying” should delay their travel plans, the WHO said.
- People 60 years of age or older or those with co-morbidities such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes are considered at risk.
- WHO has also urged countries to “continue to apply an evidence-based and risk-based approach when implementing travel measures,” but urged against “blanket travel bans,” which , she said, “will not prevent international spread.”
The big picture: The WHO advice comes as countries around the world rush to implement measures to respond to the Omicron variant, including travel restrictions.
- The United States has restricted air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi over concerns about the variant.
- Similar restrictions have been announced by countries in Europe and Asia.
The bottom line: WHO has urged all travelers to “remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, get vaccinated when it’s their turn, and adhere to public health and social measures at all times and regardless of the immunization status, including using appropriate masks. , respecting physical distancing. ”
Go further: Omicron dashboard