The World Health Organisation has said that travel restrictions are not the key to fighting the new Covid-19 Omicron variant.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that travel curbs could “buy time” but were “not the answer” to fighting the new Omicron variant. The organisation instead urged countries across the world to boost healthcare capacity and vaccinate citizens.
“Border controls can buy time but every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases,” Takeshi Kasai, the WHO’s western Pacific Director, told a media briefing.
“People should not only rely on border measures. What is most important is to prepare for these variants with potential high transmissibility. So far the information available suggests we don’t have to change our approach.”
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva: “I have not seen reports of Omicron-related deaths yet.”
Global travel curbs have accelerated with Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, USA and Russia, among others, announcing new measures this week wreaking havoc on the already struggling travel industry.
Many scientists say the way to stop the virus spreading is to make sure poorer countries have access to vaccines, not to give blanket booster shots to people in richer countries.