WHO chief calls on states to take rational, proportional risk-reduction steps against omicron

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus

© APA | WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus

# 30 November 2021 23:20 (UTC +04:00)

The World Health Organization chief expressed concern Tuesday that several nations are introducing "blunt, blanket measures" not based on evidence, penalizing southern African countries after announcing the omicron variant of the coronavirus, APA reports citing Anadolu.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, at a briefing of the 194 member states in the organization, thanked Botswana and South Africa for detecting, sequencing, and reporting this variant so rapidly.

"It is deeply concerning to me that those countries are now being penalized by others for doing the right thing," he said after European and North American nations imposed severe travel restrictions on Botswana, South Africa, and neighboring countries.

Tedros said he could understand the concern of all countries to protect their citizens against a variant "that we don't yet fully understand."

But he was equally concerned that several countries are introducing "blunt, blanket measures that are not evidence-based or effective on their own," and which he said will only worsen inequities.

"We call on all member states to take rational, proportional risk-reduction measures, in keeping with the International Health Regulations," said the WHO chief.