WHY ! Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of Omicron, says WHO Chief Tedros ?

Let’s now cut across to the world Health Organization briefing on the Covid-19 Pandemics with off course the special focus on the new variant Omicron.

omicron

Every problem but it will provide the overarching framework to foster greater international co-operation and provide a platform for strengthening global health security. In there decision today member states agreed to establish an intergovernmental negotiating body to begin drafting and negotiating a new accord, they committed to holding their first meeting by the 1st of march next year and to submit the outcomeof their negotiations to the world health assembly in 2024.

That may seem like a long process and it is but we should not be naive be thinking that reaching a global accord on pandemic will be easy, The idea of an international instrument on tobacco control was formally initiated in 1995 But the framework convention on tobaco control did not enter into force until a decade later of cource we hope that this process will not take nearly that long but there are still differences of opinion about what a new accord could or should not contain nevertheless.

Today countries have approved have proven to each other and the world that differences can be overcome and common ground can be found the spirit of soildarity that we have today is what we need not just to prevent and mitigate thet impact of future pandemics but to end this one the emergence of the omicron varint has understandably capture global attention at least 23 countries from five of six who regions have now reported cases omicron and except that number to grow who takes development extremely seriously.

And so should every country but it should not surprise us this is what viruses do and its what this virus will continue to do as long as we allow it to continue spreading we’re learning more all the time about Omicron but there is still more to learn about its effect on transmission severity of disease and the effectiveness of tests therapeutics and vaccines.

Serval WHO advisory group have met over the last couple of days to evaluate the the emerging evidence and priorities the studies needed to answer these questions i thank botswana in south Africa for decting sequencing and repotting this varint so rapidly its deeply concerning to me that those countries are now being penalize by others for doing the right thing we call on all countries to take rational proportional risk reduction measures in keeping with international health regulations.

This includes measures to delay or reduce the spread of the new variant such as screening of passengers before traveling and or upon arrival or the applications of quarantine to international travelers blanket travels bans will not prevent the international spread of omicron and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.

WHO continnues to call on alll countries to optimize public health and social measures and ensure that high risk and vulenrable individuals with all countries are fully vacinated immediately at the same time we must not forget that we are already dealing with a highly transmissible dangerous variant the delta variant which currently accounts for almost all cases globally.

We need to use the tools we already have to prevent transmission and save lives from delta and if we do that we will also prevent transmission and save lives from omicron but if countries and individuals don’t do what they need to do stop transmission of delta they wouldn’t stop omicron either.

Globally we have a toxic mix of low vaccine coverage and very low testing a recipe for breading and amplifing varients.