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WHO urges nations to lift travel bans, mandatory vaccine requirement for entry

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged nations to lift travel bans and mandatory vaccination for entry into countries despite the rapid spread of the COVID_19 omicron variant around the world.

Despite the increase in infections, the WHO has argued that closed borders failed to contain omicron that was first detected in South Africa last November.

"The failure of travel restrictions introduced after the detection and reporting of omicron variant to limit the international spread of omicron demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such measures over time.

“Travel measures should be based on risk assessments and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers in accordance with Article 40 of the IHR [International Health Regulations}," the WHO said in a statement.

It further said that the state parties should consider a risk-based approach to the "facilitation of international travel by lifting or modifying measures, such as testing and/or quarantine requirements, when appropriate."

Apart from this, the committee praised South Africa for its rapid identification of the omicron variant.

Meanwhile, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned global leaders that the COVID pandemic “is nowhere near over” adding that the omicron variant is causing hospitalisations and deaths the world over.



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