travel ban

A short while ago, the World Health Organization issued a new statement regarding the procedures and decisions of closures and travel bans, and made it clear that they will not work in the process of stopping the spread of the new Corona virus, “Omicron.”

In this context, the World Health Organization issued a new statement yesterday evening, Tuesday, November 30, in which it clarified that the travel ban decisions will not stop the spread of the mutated “Omicron” of the “Corona” virus, but it advised people at risk of severe illness or death if they contract the infection. , including those over the age of 60, not to travel to areas experiencing community transmission of the virus, according to Agence France-Presse.

And the organization stated, in an update to its guidance regarding travel under “Omicron”, the new mutated version of the “Corona” virus, that “people who have not been fully vaccinated, or who have no evidence that they have previously been infected with (SARS-Cove 2), who Those at high risk of severe illness and death, including those aged 60 and over and those with comorbidities that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 (eg heart disease, cancer, diabetes), should be advised to postpone travel to areas with community transmission for the virus »

The guidance note stated that as of November 28, "56 countries have established travel procedures aimed at delaying entry of the new mutant to them."

But the United Nations organization considered that “a general travel ban will not prevent the spread of (the mutated) at the world level, and it places a heavy burden on the conduct of life and livelihoods.”

She added that such decisions "could negatively affect global health efforts during a pandemic by discouraging countries from reporting and sharing epidemiological data."

Several countries have taken decisions banning flights, especially those coming from South Africa and neighboring countries, where the new mutant was first detected.

More generally, the organization called on all travelers to "be vigilant", vaccinate and follow public health rules regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not, especially by using protective masks, adhering to physical distancing measures and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated places.

The World Health Organization's regional office in Africa had called (on Sunday) to "keep the borders open" after South Africa appealed to the international community to "immediately and urgently lift" travel restrictions imposed on it after the detection of the mutant "Omicron".

In its guidance, the World Health Organization called on countries to take a risk-based approach when taking measures such as passenger screening and quarantine

"All measures must be proportionate to the risks and time-bound and must be applied with respect for the dignity of travelers, human rights and fundamental freedoms," the organization wrote.

As it did repeatedly at the beginning of the pandemic, the organization reminded that "essential international travel - including humanitarian and emergency travel, repatriation flights and the shipment of essential goods - must remain a priority."

In the face of the prevailing panic, the Director-General of the United Nations, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called yesterday for "calm", and asked "all member states to take logical and proportionate measures to reduce the dangers."

He said it was understood that states wanted to protect their citizens "against a mutation that we did not fully understand yet... but I am also concerned that many member states are imposing sweeping measures that are not based on evidence... and will only exacerbate inequality" between states.

As soon as Johannesburg announced the discovery of this new mutant last week, many countries closed their borders to arrivals from South Africa and neighboring countries, which sparked anger in the region.

And the UN warned that these measures “could have a negative impact on global health efforts during a pandemic by discouraging countries from reporting and exchanging epidemiological and epidemiological data.”

At a time when the world is wondering about the response to this mutator, the president of “Moderna” company, Stefan Bancel, expected, to the “Financial Times” newspaper, that there would be a “material decrease” in the effectiveness of the current vaccines against “Omicron”.

He pointed out that developing an effective vaccine in this regard will take months. "All the scientists I spoke to said it wouldn't be good," he told the newspaper.

But many laboratories, including "Moderna", "AstraZeneca", "Pfizer-Biontech" and "Novavax", expressed confidence in the ability of their vaccines to combat the mutant "Omicron".

For its part, Russia announced that it is working to develop a version of the “Sputnik-V” vaccine, targeting “Omicron” in particular, if the currently available vaccine is not effective, “which is unlikely.”

The "Covid-19" pandemic has claimed the lives of at least 5 million and 206 thousand and 370 people since its appearance at the end of 2019 in China.

The new mutant that was discovered in South Africa has spread to all continents, but Europe, which is facing a new epidemic wave, appears to be the most affected by the "Omicron".

After long considered a role model in Europe, Germany, which is experiencing a new infection boom, has raised mandatory vaccination, a topic that will be put to a vote in Parliament by the end of the year.

And in the United Kingdom, one of the countries most affected by the epidemic (145,000 deaths), the mandatory wearing of the muzzle was re-imposed yesterday in transport and stores. Also, all travelers arriving in Britain are required to undergo a PCR test and quarantine until the result is released

And Sweden, which has been characterized since the beginning of the epidemic with less restrictive measures than those imposed by other countries, has announced that it will continue to follow the same path.