The World Health Organization said that a comprehensive travel ban in order to prevent the spread of the new mutated Corona virus will not prevent its spread, calling on world governments to adopt an approach based on risk assessment, and advised those over 60 to postpone their travel, while Brazil recorded the first two cases of the Omicron mutant (Omicron) in America Latin extends to most continents of the world.

The World Health Organization stated in a guidance document containing its recommendations on travel that "a general travel ban will not prevent the spread of (mutated) globally, and places a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods."

But the organization recommended "people who are not in good health or at risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 disease - especially people aged 60 years and over or who suffer from comorbidities such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes - to postpone travel."

In the face of the panic gripping the world, the Director-General of the United Nations, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called on Tuesday for calm, and asked "all member states to take reasonable and appropriate measures to reduce the dangers."

inequality

Ghebreyesus said - during a speech before the General Assembly of the organization held in Geneva - that it is understood that states want to protect their citizens "from a mutator that we do not fully understand yet... But I am also concerned that many member states are imposing comprehensive measures that are not based on evidence... and will not lead to except to exacerbate inequality” between countries.

As soon as South Africa first announced the discovery of the new mutant last week, many countries of the world rushed to close their borders to those coming from South Africa and neighboring countries, which aroused anger among the affected countries, and revealed the disparity in widespread vaccination campaigns in rich countries and the scarcity of vaccination in developing and poor countries.

And the UN warned that imposing a comprehensive travel ban "could have a negative impact on global health efforts during an epidemic by discouraging countries from reporting and sharing epidemiological data and those related to strains of the Corona virus."

Ghebreyesus: A comprehensive travel ban is not based on evidence and will only exacerbate inequality between countries (French)

And the World Health Organization stated that it was reported that about 65 countries began implementing travel procedures to prevent “Omicron” from reaching it, as of November 28.

South America

On the other hand, the health authorities in Brazil announced yesterday that it had recorded the first two cases of the Omicron mutant, which are the first two cases of this strain in South America.

And before one week was completed from its first discovery in South Africa, the mutant crossed the borders across most of the world's continents, but the continent of Europe - which weeks ago became the epicenter of the epidemic - is the continent most affected by Omicron.

On Tuesday, the European Union's Public Health Agency said it had detected at least 120 mild infections in 10 European countries.

In the United States, The Washington Post quoted US officials as saying that the administration of President Joe Biden is preparing to announce stricter procedures for testing to detect the Corona virus, including incoming travelers, in light of fears of the new mutant, Omicron.

The officials added that the requirements will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, and include subjecting the arrivals to an examination a day before the flight, regardless of their vaccination status or the country of departure.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the precautionary measures that entered into force yesterday are proportionate and responsible measures, and will buy the country time in confronting the Omicron mutator, as he put it.

Johnson added in his tweet that vaccination and booster vaccines remain the best line of defense, and it is more important than ever that people receive the booster doses if they are eligible.

In Canada, Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said that his country - in an effort to stop the spread of Omicron - will require air arrivals from all countries except the United States to take a "Covid-19" test.

Canadian authorities are also working to extend the ban on travelers from South Africa to 3 other countries, bringing the total to 10.


Omicron Vaccines

Yesterday, the Director of the European Medicines Agency, Emir Cook, told a committee in the European Parliament that vaccines specially prepared for the Omicron mutant can be approved within 3 to 4 months if there is a need for it, explaining that the decision on the need to grant additional vaccine doses is up to other bodies.

Her comments come after Stefan Bancel, president of the American pharmaceutical manufacturer Moderna, was quoted as saying that current vaccines may not protect against the mutated Omicron, as the company had previously announced that it was working on a vaccine for Omicron.

Cook pointed out that the European Medicines Agency does not know - yet - if the current vaccines are still effective against Omicron, and that it will take about two weeks to confirm this.

And controversy continues from vaccine producers about the effectiveness of what they produce on the new mutant, as Oxford University said that there is no evidence so far about the ineffectiveness of these vaccines.

In the latest statements, The Wall Street Journal quoted Ugur Sahin, founder of BioNTech, as saying that vaccinators would be protected from any serious complications if they contracted Omicron.

The president of Moderna was pessimistic about the effectiveness of vaccines, and told the Financial Times that data on the effectiveness of current vaccines will be available within the next two weeks, but scientists are not optimistic in this regard.


As for the American company Pfizer, it announced its readiness to produce an effective vaccine against the Omicron mutant within 100 days, adding that it has started testing its current vaccine on Omicron.

For its part, Johnson & Johnson announced that it is working on a vaccine for Omicron, and that it will progress in this work as needed, noting that it is testing its current vaccine on the Omicron mutant.

Russia said it is developing a version of Sputnik-V that specifically targets Omicron if the currently available vaccine is not effective, "which is unlikely."

The American Institute of Infectious Diseases stated that the vaccine and its booster doses granted antibodies against previous mutant, and Anthony Fauci, chief health adviser to the administration of President Joe Biden, said that the current vaccines give a high degree of protection against the Corona virus and its mutants.

Fauci added that it was still too early to know the severity of the symptoms of the new mutation.

The World Health Organization classified the new mutant as very dangerous due to the large number of mutations in it, recognizing that much information about it is still unknown, such as the severity of infection, the effectiveness of existing vaccines against it, and the severity of symptoms.

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