In fact, travel bans do not solve the problem. They just postpone it, says Raghib Ali, an epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, UK. Better testing is a much more effective tool.
“We need a balanced and proportional response, which means there is no travel ban, but inspection and quarantine for people from countries where Omicron is distributed,” says Ali.
Travel bans can have another negative effect. South Africa needs to be separated from the scientific supply and genomic surveillance needed to study the effects of Omicron on the real-world environment. Trio de Oliveira, a bioinformatics engineer at KwaZulu-Natal University in Durban, South Africa, told Nature:
The greater fear is that the lesson that other countries learn from the treatment of southern African countries is that if they find a new variant, it is advisable to keep it for themselves.
“They see others being punished for finding new variants, which may postpone the sharing of the data we need. It’s not a theoretical possibility, it’s very It’s realistic, “says Ali.
Omicron is not the last concern. When you encounter the following issues, you need to share what each country knows as soon as possible. A total travel ban jeopardizes its openness.
“Implementing a travel ban targeting Africa will attack world solidarity,” Matshidiso Moeti, Africa’s WHO Regional Director, said in a statement last week.
Why a comprehensive travel ban doesn’t help stop Omicron
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