MANILA – Stricter travel restrictions will only help countries “buy time” to prepare for new surges amid the threat of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Government leaders in the Western Pacific region are urged to take advantage of the period before Omicron arrives in their countries, WHO official was quoted by CNN as saying.
“We know that Omicron will eventually come to most of the countries in the region,” WHO Regional Emergency Director Dr. Babatunde Olowokure said.
“Border controls can be used to delay entry of the virus and buy time, but every country and community must prepare for new surges,” Olowokure, added during a virtual briefing on Friday according to MENA.
In the Western Pacific, the Omicron variant has so far been detected in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. The WHO Western Pacific Region, headquartered in Manila, covers 37 countries and areas.