Why blanket journey bans will not work to cease omicron


In reality, journey bans don’t resolve the issue—they simply postpone it, says Raghib Ali, an epidemiologist on the College of Cambridge, UK. Higher testing is a much more efficient measure.

“We’d like a balanced and proportional response. Which means no journey bans, however testing and quarantine for individuals coming from nations the place omicron is circulating,” says Ali.

The journey bans might have one other detrimental knock-on impact: chopping South Africa off from the scientific provides it must do the genomic surveillance that would elucidate the influence of omicron in real-world settings. Tulio de Oliveira, a bioinformatician on the College of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, instructed Nature: “By subsequent week, if nothing modifications, we are going to run out of sequencing reagents.”

The larger concern is that the therapy of southern African nations will lead different nations to conclude that in case you detect a brand new variant, it’s finest to maintain it to your self. 

“They see others getting penalized for recognizing a brand new variant, and which may put them off sharing the information we’d like. That’s not a theoretical chance; it’s very actual,” says Ali.

Omicron gained’t be the final variant of concern. When the following one hits, we’d like nations to share what they know as quickly as attainable. Blanket journey bans put that openness in peril.

“Putting in journey bans that focus on Africa assaults world solidarity,” stated Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, in a press release final week. 


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