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WHO criticizes travel bans on southern African countries

47 Comments
By ANDREW MELDRUM

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47 Comments

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Does anybody really trust anything they say anymore?

31 ( +39 / -8 )

The same organization that took months after the outbreak before declaring a world wide emergency. They should just stick to their research and leave the governing to the government.

31 ( +35 / -4 )

called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid using travel restrictions.

So do the WHO with all its experts and also the science say, that we should continue to travel and spread this new variant all over the world, even nobody knows yet anything clearly about that variant?

If the WHO with all its experts and the science is saying so...Ok...let's go to travel and let's spread this new variant all over the world.

Very clever from the WHO experts...

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2 ( +10 / -8 )

The travel ban makes absolute sense to me.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

WHO defines "form over function". At least the avoided calling something the Xi variant .

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The WHO has zero credibility. They lost any they had almost 2 years ago when they downplayed this incredibly dangerous virus that has brought the entire world to its knees.

Most people agree : lockdowns, travel bans, masks and of course booster shots are necessary tools to fight this unprecedented pandemic.

7 ( +20 / -13 )

61 Passengers On 2 Flights From South Africa To Netherlands Tested Positive For COVID-19

When you see a headline like this, and read that all the passengers either had a negative PCR test or claimed they were doubly vaccinated, that is why the rest of the world has instituted these travel bans. It seems that either the system in South Africa is faulty, or we just cannot trust what they say.

Better to be safe than sorry, until there is more information about this variant and how to deal with it.

>

1 ( +5 / -4 )

https://www.9news.com.au/national/omicron-variant-why-widespread-community-transmission-should-not-be-feared/bd7db219-b262-4db6-bdfb-cad72a6001ba

A bit of reality and sense from the previous deputy chief health officer! Omicron maybe the Christmas present we have all been hoping for. More contagious but less dangerous! If so let it spread and wipeout delta!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

BigYen

We still don’t know how serious Omicron is. Until we do know, one way or the other, it seems fair enough to restrict travel from where Omicron has originated. I don’t understand this “we were honest with you and now we’re being punished for it” argument, it makes no sense.

Agreed. Considering you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, an abundance of caution when we don't know much seems reasonable. When we know what we are dealing with we can roll them back.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

WHO is right.

Honesty is not rewarded and countries face a backlash. Next time, countries might hide the discovery of a variant not to face any backlash. Remember the Tokyo variant that was not publicized for certain reason.

This variant might have originated in a country that can not do sequencing and is not on the travel ban list. South Africa has capabilities for detection and that’s make the difference. It was only 77 official cases when detected

I do not remember of any travel ban for UK citizens after the delta variant.

Just reinforcing testing at the borders should be done

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I understand the travel bans, but this will cause countries might think twice before announcing new variants.

A bit of reality and sense from the previous deputy chief health officer! Omicron maybe the Christmas present we have all been hoping for. More contagious but less dangerous! If so let it spread and wipeout delta!

Yeah, give the old and vulnerable the mRNA vaccines and let the rest get this natural omicron "vaccine."

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Anyone reading should check out what Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association. She was the first to find the new variant. She calls it a 'storm in a teacup', and noting only mild symptoms.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"Prevention is better than cure." nuff said.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Ummm, but they are scientifically based. Stop the transmission by stopping the spread.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The WHO has zero credibility. They lost any they had almost 2 years ago when they downplayed this incredibly dangerous virus that has brought the entire world to its knees.

Big change of tune from that time when everyone was blaming governments and deflected off of the WHO conversation. Wonder why?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@PharaohChromium

And its interesting that we've seen several articles about omicron, but no mention of the observations from the doctors on site who are treating these patients. So far, omicron does indeed seem to be surprisingly mild compared to previous variants.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

And its interesting that we've seen several articles about omicron, but no mention of the observations from the doctors on site who are treating these patients. So far, omicron does indeed seem to be surprisingly mild compared to previous variants.

There is nothing strange about it, anecdotal evidence is the lowerst form of data, and it is well know to be extremely biased and frequently disproven with more serious studies, like doctors saying only vaccinated people are showing heavy symptoms, or that previously infected patients are not protected from infection?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

There is nothing strange about it, anecdotal evidence is the lowerst form of data, and it is well know to be extremely biased and frequently disproven with more serious studies, like doctors saying only vaccinated people are showing heavy symptoms, or that previously infected patients are not protected from infection?

The DOCTOR that FOUND the variant says that it's basically a nothing sandwich.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Business people can use zoom, so can families, so why the need to jump on a plane at this time, people should just stay home till the virus has abated

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This is the same WHO who advised against travel bans during the original outbreak almost two years ago? What good did that do? The WHO is a joke. I would trust the American CDC over the WHO.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The comment section here just goes to show that people are only interested in following the science that they already believe in and makes sense to them

Nothing is immune to bias NOTHING

no matter what you believe, there will be “experts” to back you up or tear you down.

Its not even worth the discussion

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The WHO is the IOC of health issues... Out of date and completely useless.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The same organization that in early 2020 refused to call the Chinese virus a pandemic.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This variant is weak, but will give natural antibodies.

It seems a better bet than the vaccine.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

well better be safe than sorry,by my opinion better keep borders still closed....

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Once again, the "travel bans are racist" argument. Guess what WHO, it has nothing to do with race. Countries around the world enacted travels bans in early 2020 against China, Europe, wherever because bans work.

Playing the race card like that, shameful.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Average age in S. Africa is 27.

In the USA it's 38.

The UK is on 40.

And in Japan it's 48.

It's quite possible that the relatively mild symptoms observed in S. Africa are due to the strength of the infected, rather than the strength of the virus.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When the WHO says anything, I can't hear them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

WHO is a political organisation with a whiff of medical professionals.......stopping travel from affected areas should be the first layer of protection.....perhaps the spread would have been contained more if this was implemented 2 years ago. On the flip side there shouldn't be a stigma because this will affect everyone if countries don't report flare ups.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Quiz time:

how many of them are wearing their masks properly, in the cover photo?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry, WHO but you lost all credibility when you dragged your feet on calling Covid a pandemic, then were wishy-washy on the effectiveness of wearing masks etc. etc.

The travel ban makes absolute sense - contain and isolate the new variant in as few places as possible to minimize it spreading. It's already going to be a 2nd year of Christmas under Covid. Please don't rock the boat any further.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Travel bans made sense two years ago. But now we've seen that there's no real way of containing it, what's the point? It might delay the spread by a day or two, but by the time they detect these new variants it already seems like it's too late to contain them.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yeah, give the old and vulnerable the mRNA vaccines and let the rest get this natural omicron "vaccine."

Unless you can demonstrate the omicron variant is less risky than the vaccine this baseless recommendation makes no sense at al.

The DOCTOR that FOUND the variant says that it's basically a nothing sandwich.

Finding something and having the data to prove it is not risky are two very different things, nobody has that data yet, so this is a completely irrelevant appeal to authority.

This variant is weak, but will give natural antibodies.

It seems a better bet than the vaccine.

No it does not, causing hospitalizations with still a small number of detected cases makes it obvious it is much worse than the vaccine.

no matter what you believe, there will be “experts” to back you up or tear you down.

That is still not a reason for confusion, if the "experts" have an opinion contrary to the scientific consensus and do not have the data to defend that opinion they can be safely ignored.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Travel bans made sense two years ago. But now we've seen that there's no real way of containing it, what's the point? It might delay the spread by a day or two, but by the time they detect these new variants it already seems like it's too late to contain them.

I agree.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

China was accused of lying, hiding, and delaying report of the virus for 4 weeks, UK was accused of delaying report of the new mutant for 12 weeks, India was accused of delaying report of the mutant for 16 weeks. Whoever honestly reports first will be blamed. Now is South Africa.

Let us not go killing the messengers. We should be grateful for the information.

Blaming does nothing to eradicate the virus but only promotes animosity.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I was watching the J-News today. They are reporting like Africa created the pandemic when in fact the pandemic began in Asia and Japan helped to spread it. Now it has become a topic about HIV, and it being Africa's fault. Stereotyping on J-TV is always surprising because they never learn.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

A fire breaks out in your kitchen.

You: runs for the fire extinguisher

WHO: Ah, ah. Let's not be hasty. First we should confirm that other things in your house are even flammable. This may be nothing to worry about.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I’m tired of Covid. Let’s declare victory and forget it. If you get vaccinated, great. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, great. Don’t go to a hospital. Stay in your bedroom and be sick or die.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Average age in S. Africa is 27.

In the USA it's 38.

The UK is on 40.

And in Japan it's 48.

It's quite possible that the relatively mild symptoms observed in S. Africa are due to the strength of the infected, rather than the strength of the virus.

Interesting point. However, I suspect their average age was the same before omicron. What the doctors are saying is that the symptoms are milder than previous variants, in the same location.

Lol. I swear some of you fear-mongers are having a ball with this pandemic. You see good news and you want to dispute it. I think if you had it your way, you'd never want it to end.

Yes, good news for humanity is bad news for pharma...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Ban is ok, but probably too late, they always are

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Raw Beer “but this will cause countries might think twice before announcing new variants.” I don’t think so… ban seems to be imposed now on all countries.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is not the role of WHO to consider the economy or travel agency, it should focus on scietfict evidences and reserch or data on the health affairs. it should not be influenced by politics or others. It is WB or IMF and other international agencies to consider the negative effects from travel ban or other strictive measures.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

WHO took orders from China resulting in millions dead, so I guess we should listen to them again?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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