Travel bans

“Travel bans won’t prevent the spread of Covid-19”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) wants governments across the globe to rescind a decision on travel bans. Instead it wants them to follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice in the management of the new variant.

Public health organizations, advise against travel curbs to contain the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant; that was first discovered in South Africa.

A number of countries in the world have introduced travel bans in response to this latest strain of the coronavirus.

“After nearly 2 years with Covid-19 we know a lot about the virus; and the inability of travel restrictions to control its spread. But the discovery of the Omicron variant induced instant amnesia on governments; which implemented knee-jerk restrictions in complete contravention of advice from the WHO—the global expert,” IATA said.

“Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods. In addition, they can adversely impact global health efforts during a pandemic by disincentivising countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data.”

The lobby says WHO has advised that states implementing measures such as screening or quarantine “need to be defined following a thorough risk assessment process informed by the local epidemiology in departure and destination countries and by the health system and public health capacities in the countries of departure, transit and arrival.

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