The WHO advised to “easen” the restrictions of the Covid-19 for international travel
The World Health Organization (WHO) advised, faced with the failure to stop the spread of the omicron variant, “easing” Covid-19 restrictions for international travel. Regardless, they determined that the pandemic still represents a public health emergency of international concern.
Thus, the institution urged the Member States to “lift or relax international traffic prohibitions, since they do not provide any added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress suffered by States”.
This WHO proposal arose from the inevitable spread of the new variant and the poor results of the sanitary measures. “The failure of the travel restrictions introduced after the detection and notification of the omicron variant to limit its international spread demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time”.
In addition, they pointed out that the expenses produced by this type of regulation should not be the economic responsibility of tourists: “Travel measures (for example, the use of a mask, diagnostic tests, isolation/quarantine and vaccination) must be based on risk assessments and avoid the financial burden falling on travelers”.
Regarding the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the WHO Emergency Committee reported that “it continues to constitute an extraordinary event that continues to negatively affect the health of populations around the world, poses a risk of international spread and interference with international traffic, and requires a coordinated international response”.
What’s more, warned about “the risk of overly optimistic statements about the state of the pandemic.”
On the other hand, the group of experts, at this Thursday’s meeting, highlighted the importance of “accelerate research and development of new vaccination technologies”.
“Current vaccination technology relies on syringes, the supply of which is limited., which entails a significant logistical and programmatic burden. The rapid development of alternative vaccine formulas, such as intranasal ones, could increase ease of administration in low-resource and/or hard-to-reach areas. In addition, the need to continue working on vaccines that confer broader immunity in all variants is evident,” they stated.
Likewise, the WHO team also highlighted the importance of developing epidemiological investigations on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between humans and animals, as well as specific surveillance of possible animal hosts and reservoirs.
“Real-time surveillance and data sharing on SARS-CoV-2 infection, transmission and evolution in animals will contribute to the global understanding of the epidemiology and ecology of the virus, the possible evolution of new variants in animal populations, their timely identification and the evaluation of their risks to public health”, they explained.