WHO official urges science-based, non-discriminatory entry restrictions for Covid
Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, made the call at a press conference here on Tuesday.
“For those countries in our region that are currently introducing travel precautions, we are calling for them to be rooted in science, proportionate and non-discriminatory,” Kluge said.
“Scientifically speaking, there is currently no direct threat to the European region based on the information we have from China, because the (virus) variants that are circulating in China are also circulating in Europe,” Kluge told Xinhua.
“We share the current view of the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) that the continued increase in China at this time is not expected to have a significant impact on the epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in the WHO European Region,” he said. .
Kluge reiterated the importance of scientific surveillance and criticized certain countries in the region for significantly reducing their surveillance capacity for detecting Covid-19, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to Kluge, it can be risky to ignore other important aspects of the virus’s evolution, such as the recombinant variant Omicron XBB.1.5, which has spread rapidly across the US and is currently expanding in the European region.
He called on countries to take even greater responsibility, including increasing vaccination coverage among the general population, providing additional vaccine doses to priority groups, promoting mask wearing both indoors and on public transport, ventilating of crowded and public spaces, and providing early and appropriate treatment to patients at risk of serious illness.
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