The travel bans, such as those suffered by people from southern Africa these days because of the new omicron variant, can harm the fight against COVID-19, as they could discourage other governments from giving information epidemiological, the World Health Organization warned today.
These prohibitions “will not prevent international transmission and they are a heavy burden for many people“warned a WHO statement, expressing fear that after South Africa and Botswana have been” punished “for reporting the first omicron cases in time, other countries will avoid doing the same.
“This can discourage countries from sharing epidemiological and genomic data,” stressed the organization, which asked all countries a frequent review and update of its travel restrictions “once more information on omicron features is available.”
The WHO once again praised South Africa and Botswana for the “speed and transparency” with which they notified the existence of the new variant, and recalled that this information allowed other countries to adjust their response measures in the pandemic.
“We ask all countries to show their solidarity global, quickly sharing all the information to respond jointly to omicron and other variants, “said the WHO note.
The WHO recommended, in the face of the total travel bans, the adoption of measures such as the testing of passengers before their departure and upon arrival at the destination, the application of quarantine according to the cases and other measures that “must be decided by means of a strict analysis. risk “.
All measures “must be proportional to the risks, limited in time, and applied with respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of travelers,” the organization stressed.
On the other hand, he recommended that travelers be vigilant in the face of any symptoms of COVID-19, that they get vaccinated against this disease when they have the opportunity and “follow health and social measures at all times, regardless of whether or not they have already received it. vaccine”.
The WHO also asks people in risk groups, such as those over 60 or people with heart conditions, cancer or diabetes, to postpone their travels as much as possible.