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‘Blanket Travel Bans Will Not Prevent Omicron International Spread,’ Says WHO

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The World Health Organisation has emphasised that a blanket travel ban will not prevent the international spread of the newly discovered Omicron variant.

This comes as a response to multiple countries closing their borders and measurements starting to resurface, as an attempt to prevent the spread.

“Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” WHO’s advice read.

Multiple countries have currently resorted back to imposing travel bans, including countries within Europe, and the US, UK as well as South Africa.

“In addition, they can adversely impact global health efforts during a pandemic by disincentivizing countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data.”

The WHO also warned that anyone over 60’s and others at risk of developing serious symptoms should postpone their travel plans in light of the newly emerged variant. 

“Persons who are unwell or at risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and dying, including people 60 years of age or older or those with comorbidities (e.g. heart disease, cancer, and diabetes), should be advised to postpone travel,” WHO’s advice read.

They also reminded travellers to get vaccinated and remain vigilant until more information is gathered about the new variant.

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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