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WHO Omicron warning for unvaccinated susceptible travellers

WHO Omicron warning for unvaccinated vulnerable travellers
The WHO stated Tuesday that these not absolutely vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 who’re additionally susceptible to the illness, together with over-60s, ought to postpone journey to areas with neighborhood transmission.

The World Well being Group additionally stated blanket journey bans wouldn’t cease the unfold of the Omicron variant.

The brand new Covid-19 variant of concern, which the WHO says poses a “very excessive” threat globally, has prompted many international locations to close their borders.

“Blanket journey bans is not going to forestall the worldwide unfold, and so they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” the WHO stated in a journey recommendation assertion on Omicron.

“As well as, they will adversely impression world well being efforts throughout a pandemic by disincentivising international locations to report and share epidemiological and sequencing knowledge.”

First reported to the WHO lower than every week in the past after being detected in southern Africa earlier this month, Omicron has already appeared in a number of international locations.

The WHO famous the growing variety of governments introducing journey measures, together with quickly banning arrivals from international locations the place the variant has been discovered.

The WHO stated that as of Sunday, 56 international locations have been reportedly implementing journey measures aimed toward doubtlessly delaying the importation of the brand new variant.

“It’s anticipated that the Omicron variant will likely be detected in an growing variety of international locations as nationwide authorities step up their surveillance and sequencing actions,” it stated.

The WHO later issued a correction to the ultimate a part of that journey recommendation, relating who must be suggested to postpone journey, and to the place.

“Individuals who haven’t been absolutely vaccinated or do not need proof of earlier SARS-CoV-2 an infection and are at elevated threat of growing extreme illness and dying, together with folks 60 years of age or older or these with comorbidities that current elevated threat of extreme Covid-19 (e.g. coronary heart illness, most cancers and diabetes) must be suggested to postpone journey to areas with neighborhood transmission,” the WHO’s corrected line stated.

Elsewhere, the WHO suggested international locations to use an “evidence-informed and risk-based method” when implementing journey measures.

The UN well being company stated nationwide authorities in international locations of departure, transit and arrival may apply mitigation measures which may delay or scale back the exportation and importation of the variant.

They might embrace screening passengers, testing and quarantine.

“All measures must be commensurate with the chance, time-limited and utilized with respect to travellers’ dignity, human rights and basic freedoms.”

The WHO stated that “important worldwide journey”, together with for humanitarian missions, repatriations and transport of important provides, ought to all the time be prioritised throughout the pandemic.

– ‘Calm, coordinated, coherent’ –

Earlier Tuesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised member states to maintain calm and take “rational” steps in response to Omicron.

“We name on all member states to take rational, proportional risk-reduction measures,” he stated.

“The worldwide response should be calm, coordinated and coherent.”

Tedros confused that it stays unclear how harmful the variant is.

“We nonetheless have extra questions than solutions concerning the impact of Omicron on transmission, severity of illness, and the effectiveness of exams, therapeutics and vaccines,” he stated.

The WHO chief stated it was comprehensible that international locations wished to guard their residents “in opposition to a variant that we do not but absolutely perceive”.

“However I’m equally involved that a number of member states are introducing blunt, blanket measures that aren’t evidence-based or efficient on their very own, and which is able to solely worsen inequities.”