COVID-19: ‘Travel restrictions don’t stop variants’- Health Minister

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It is not likely that travel restrictions will be imposed on people coming from countries where the new Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected because according to Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, these restrictions do not stop the spread of variants.

“Travel restrictions do not stop any variant from moving,” Dr. Anthony declared on Wednesday while speaking to reporters at the sidelines of an event.

According to him, these travel restrictions may be able to slow the spread of the variant of a virus by prohibiting people who may have been infected from entering countries. Eventually, however, he said that once the variant becomes dominant, it would circulate in countries.

In place of those restrictions, Dr. Anthony emphasised that getting vaccinated would prevent people from experiencing the more severe and life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19 if they are infected.

And so with the imminent arrival of this Omicron variant, the Health Minister made another fervent appeal for people to get vaccinated. Additionally, for those people who are eligible for the booster doses, he urged them to get it.

Additionally, the Health Minister opined that people have become too complacent in adhering to the COVID-19 regulations. To protect themselves from the deadly COVID-19 disease, he said that people should continue wearing their masks, maintaining a social distance and constantly sanitising.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that 24 countries may have reported cases of the variant so far but that some of the early indications were that most were mild and none severe. The variant has also been detected in neighbouring Brazil.

Interestingly, however, many countries have rushed to impose these travel restrictions, particularly on travellers from South African countries where the variant was first detected. (Vishani Ragobeer)

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