WHO urge countries to prioritise essentials and resume international travel


As countries gradually begin to resume flight operations, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said that countries should lift international travel measures based on a thorough risk assessment and must prioritise essential travel for emergencies, humanitarian actions, travel of essential personnel, and repatriation.

WHO in a statement said that there is no “zero risk” when considering the potential importation or exportation of cases whilst resuming international travel. It urged each country to conduct a risk-benefit analysis of its own and decide on its priorities. Should countries choose to quarantine all travellers on arrival, they must do so after such analysis and consider the local circumstances.

The organisation stated that in addition to the public health risk, countries should also take into account economic, political, and social considerations when deciding on resuming international travel.

Earlier this week, WHO said that international travel bans cannot stay indefinitely, and countries are going to have to do more to contain the spread of the virus within their borders. Meanwhile, a surge in new cases has forced many countries to reimpose travel restrictions in recent days.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked passengers to not pay more than the basic fare mentioned on Air India’s website to travel agents while booking flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. The statement came as a follow-up as Air India and Air India Express opened bookings for international flights under VBM phase 5. Bookings for US-bound flights under this phase began on Tuesday.

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