World Health Organization has said people who are unwell or
vulnerable should delay travel to Covid hotspots if they are not
its latest travel advisory
the UN agency includes in that category people over 60, and those
with conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
earlier WHO statement advised against all travel for this group.
corrected version specified that only those more vulnerable and not
fully vaccinated should delay travelling.
is in line with the WHO's previous advice for travel during the
pandemic, and comes amid concern about the new Omicron variant.
WHO also restated its position that blanket travel bans do not
prevent the spread of the variant.
Africa alerted the world about the variant last week.
countries then proceeded to impose restrictions on travel from
countries in southern Africa.
travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place
a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods," the WHO said in its
addition, they can adversely impact global health efforts during a
pandemic by disincentivising countries to report and share
epidemiological and sequencing data."
Secretary General António Guterres said he was "deeply
concerned" about the isolation of southern Africa, adding that
"the people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low
level of vaccinations available".
the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said there were
still many questions regarding Omicron, including its transmission,
the severity of the disease it might provoke, and the effectiveness
of tests and vaccines.
remarks to a closed-door meeting posted on the WHO website, Dr Tedros
called on WHO member states to take "rational, proportional"
Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa said the wider region had been the
victim of unfair discrimination
adding that the bans would not be effective in preventing the spread
of the variant.