Covid Omicron variant: WHO criticizes travel bans in South Africa, calls for borders to remain open

Reaffirms that the WHO is alongside the peoples of Africa, the WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti urged countries to adhere to science and international health regulations to avoid the use of travel restrictions.

“@WHO stands on the side of #An African nations and demands that borders remain open. When countries impose flight bans on South African nations from the new #OmicronVariant, the WHO is urging countries to comply with science and health regulations,” he said on Twitter. .

The WHO Regional Office for Africa said in a statement: “Travel restrictions may have a small effect on curbing the spread of COVID-19, but will put a heavy strain on life and livelihoods.”

“If implemented, restrictions must not be unnecessarily invasive or intrusive and must be scientifically justified in accordance with international health regulations, a legally binding instrument of international law recognized by more than 190 nations,” it added.

The WHO statement also stated that South Africa is complying with international health regulations and as soon as its national laboratory identified the Omicron variant on 24 November.

“The speed and transparency of the governments of South Africa and Botswana in informing the world about the new option is commendable. The WHO is on the side of African countries that had the courage to share life-saving public health information and help protect the world from the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

On 27 November, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as “Omicron”.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern. The number of cases of this variation appears to be increasing in almost all provinces of South Africa.

Based on the evidence provided, which suggests a detrimental change in the epidemiology of COVID-19, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG-VE) of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution has advised the WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC and the WHO. has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC called Omicron, the statement stated.

The Technical Advisory Group on the Development of SARS-CoV-2 (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that regularly monitors and evaluates the development of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses whether certain mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behavior of the virus. virus.

At the same time, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) said in a statement that the WHO has raised alarms among the countries since the new COVID-19 variant was classified in South Africa.

Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands were the ones to join the United Kingdom to restrict flights from South Africa.

Source: ANI

# COVID-19

Source: The Nordic Page


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