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Tags: COVID virus outbreak

WHO: Travel Bans Hurting Global Cooperation on Omicron

COVID danger
(Dreamstime)

Wednesday, 01 December 2021 12:41 PM

The World Health Organization says travel bans by countries are having an impact on global cooperation against the new omicron variant by causing “challenges” to the sharing of laboratory samples from South Africa that can help get better grips on the new variant.

The comments Wednesday came at the first press briefing by the U.N. health agency since it christened omicron as a “variant of concern” after being brought to light by researchers in South Africa last week. Many countries responded by suspending flights from seven southern Africa countries.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for “tailored” intervention by countries, including testing travelers before and after they arrive in a country, and advised against “blanket travel bans” that “place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said international cooperation was continuing, and that researchers in South Africa have been “very willing to not only share data, not only share information, but also share samples.”

But she said travel bans “have caused some challenges for those samples to actually be shipped out of the country. So, there are other implications for these travel bans that are out there.”

Updates on COVID Omicron Outbreak:

— U.S. moves to toughen testing requirement for travelers

— More cases linked to the new omicron variant are surfacing, prompting countries to impose restrictions.

— Japan starts booster COVID vaccinations amid omicron scare.

— Austrian lockdown extended through Dec 11 as planned.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


StreetTalk
The World Health Organization says travel bans by countries are having an impact on global cooperation against the new omicron variant by causing "challenges" to the sharing of laboratory samples from South Africa that can help get better grips on the new variant.
COVID virus outbreak
239
2021-41-01
Wednesday, 01 December 2021 12:41 PM
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