Omicron variant: the WHO advises people aged 60+ and vulnerable people against traveling

Published by Caroline J. · Updated on 1 December 2021 at 12h36 · Published on 1 December 2021 at 08h04
Facing the Omicron variant threat, several countries have decided to close their borders. But for the World Health Organization, these restrictions “will not prevent the international spread” of the variant and which will “only worsen inequities”. Therefore, the WHO recommends people at risk not to travel.

What strategy should governments apply to face the threat from the Omicron variant? Although some countries have decided to close their borders to all foreign travelers, others have decided to close their borders to southern Africa. But according to WHO, these “blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread” of the Omicron variant. Moreover, the World Health Organization also advising “persons who are unwell should be advised to postpone travel”.

In a technical document issued this November 30, 2021, the WHO explains on the contrary these restrictions “can adversely impact global health efforts during a pandemic by disincentivizing countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data”.

Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he understands: “the concern of all countries to protect their citizens”. “But I am equally concerned that several Member States are introducing blunt, blanket measures that are not evidence-based or effective on their own, and which will only worsen inequities”.

The question is if the WHO’s recommendations will be followed or not.

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