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Omicron: WHO advises people over 60 not to travel

TORONTO – In the wake of the new Omicron variant, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new advice on international travel, including that people over 60 should limit travel.

The organization released an advisory on Tuesday, listing ways countries and individuals can try to stay safe and reduce the risk posed by Omicron.

One of the key points is that people are at a higher risk of developing severe illness if they get COVID-19 — people who are sick, immunocompromised, with arrhythmias like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. road, or the elderly. of 60 – “travel should be postponed.”

Scientists in South Africa identified a new version of the novel coronavirus last week, which was quickly labeled a variant of concern and named Omicron. While not much is known about Omicron at this stage, the new variant appears to have a large number of mutations that set it apart from other variants, raising concerns that it could be shown to be more easily transmittable or can re-infect people who have had COVID-19 in the past.

The identification of a new variant has prompted several countries, including Canada, to announce temporary travel bans and other health measures to prevent the variant from spreading. However, several cases of Omicron have been detected in more than one Canadian province to date.

The WHO stated in their advice on Tuesday that countries should “continue to adopt an evidence-based and risk-based approach when implementing travel measures,” adding that “the orders Travel bans won’t stop the spread internationally.”

They advise that countries can take a “multi-layered risk reduction approach” to international travel, such as screening passengers with tests or requiring quarantine.

In an update Tuesday, the federal government announced that Canada will impose new testing requirements on air travelers arriving from outside Canada. All will be required to check in at the airport when they arrive in Canada, with the exception of visitors from the US

The WHO said travel should still be continued for essential reasons, such as humanitarian missions and emergency personnel or the transportation of supplies.

“Additionally, all travelers should be reminded to remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, to get vaccinated when it is their turn, and to adhere to social and public health measures. at all times and regardless of immunization status, including by using a suitable mask, respecting physical distancing, following good respiratory etiquette, and avoiding crowded and poorly ventilated spaces,” recommends show.

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