GENEVA – Bans on international travel cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders, the World Health Organization said on Monday.
A surge of infections has prompted countries to reimpose some travel restrictions in recent days, with Britain throwing the reopening of Europe’s tourism industry into disarray by ordering a quarantine on travellers returning from Spain.
Only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, would the world manage to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a virtual news briefing.
‘Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where are not, cases go up’, he said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling outbreaks.
WHO emergencies programme head Mike Ryan said it was impossible for countries to keep borders shut for the foreseeable future.
‘…It is going to be almost impossible for individual countries to keep their borders shut for the foreseeable future. Economies have to open up, people have to work, trade has to resume’, he said.
‘What is clear is pressure on the virus pushes the numbers down. Release that pressure and cases creep back up’.
Ryan praised Japan and Australian for having had ‘good success in containing the disease’ but said that it was to be expected that the virus would resurge in areas with active transmission if restrictions are lifted and mobility increased.
‘And that is what has essentially occurred in many countries is that in nightclubs, other situations, dormitories, other environments in which people are close together can act as amplification points for the disease and then it can spread back into the community. We need to be hyper-alert on those’.
Measures must be consistent and kept in place long enough to ensure their effectiveness and public acceptance, Ryan said, adding that governments investigating clusters should be praised not criticized.
‘What we need to worry is situations where the problems aren’t being surfaced, where the problems are being glossed over, where everything looks good’.
Ryan said Spain’s current situation was nowhere near as bad as it has been at the pandemic’s peak there, and he expected clusters to be brought under control, through it would take days or weeks to discern the disease’s future pattern.
‘The more we understand the disease, the more we have a microscope on the virus, the more precise we can be in surgically removing it from our communities’, he added.
The Kremlin on Friday said it hoped ‘crazy’ calls to sanction Russian business people would not become a reality and that it was planning ways to best protect Russia’s interests, its citizens and businesses. The Kremlin said it was closely following media reports about a possible new round of U.S. sanctions.
Moscow will soon publish a list of U.S. citizens it will take measures against in response to sanctions imposed on Russians over the case of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, the TASS news agency cited the foreign ministry as saying on Friday. The Kremlin on Wednesday played down the impact of sanctions imposed by the United … More Russia Will Soon Publish Retaliatory Stop List Of U.S. Citizens – TASS Cites Foreign Ministry
The Saudi – led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen said it had destroyed four explosive drones fired towards the Kingdom on Friday, with the Houthis claiming to have launched an attack into southern Saudi Arabia at dawn. The Iran – aligned Houthis have recently stepped up cross – border drone and missile attacks … More Saudi – Led Coalition Says It Downed Four Drones Fired By Houthis Towards Khamis Mushait
The Arab Coalition intercepted and destroyed an explosive – laden drone launched on Friday by Yemen’s Iran – backed Houthi Militia toward Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. Khamis Mushait is a southwestern city home to the King Khalid Air Base. Coalition Spokesperson Colonel Turki al – Maliki said, ‘the … More Arab Coalition Destroys Explosive – Laden Drone Targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait.
Kuwait will impose a 5 P.M. to 5 A.M. curfew from Sunday until April 8 as the government tries to stem of the rising coronavirus infections, state TV reported on Thursday. During non – curfew, people are not allowed to enter restaurants and coffee shops and orders are to be picked up through drive thrush … More Kuwait Imposes 12 Hour Curfew For A Month Amid Spike In COVID-19 Cases
Saudi Arabia’s authorities approved the start of receiving international flights at Prince Abdulmajeed bin Abdulaziz Airport in Al-Ula after the completion of its expansion project, the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said on Thursday. The airport, which was established in 2011, became the fifth largest airport in the Kingdom, with a total area … More Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula Airport Opens To International Flights After Expansion
The United States called on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to renounce its special and differential treatment in negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), nothing the G20 member was designed as a high – income country by the World Bank. ‘Saudi Arabia is a wealthy and influential player in the global economy’, Washington said in … More U.S. Urges Saudi Arabia To Give Up Special Developing Nation Status At WTO
Saudi Arabia will provide coronavirus vaccines in pharmacies around the Kingdom for free, the country’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfik al – Rabiah told Al Araiya on Wednesday. This comes as part of efforts to expand the ongoing inoculation campaign and facilitate access to vaccine sites, he added. Over 100 vaccine centers have opened around … More Saudi Arabia To Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccines In Pharmacies: Health Minister
‘One Night In Miami’ actor Kingsley Ben – Adir and ‘The Personal History of David Cooperfield’ actress Morfydd Clark are among this year’s nominees for the EE Rising Star Award, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) said on Wednesday. The list of five contenders, all British, also includes ‘Rocks’ actress Bukky Bakray, Conrad … More BAFTA Announces All British Nominees For EE Rising Star Award
The Saudi – led coalition fighting the Houthis Yemen said it had destroyed a drone launched by the Iran – aligned group towards the southern region of the kingdom, Saudi State TV reported on Wednesday. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.