‘Imposing travel restrictions will not help’

A health worker collecting swabs for COVID-19 tests in Bengaluru.  

TAC member Giridhar R. Babu, who also heads Lifecourse Epidemiology at Indian Institute of Public Health in Bengaluru, has said that restricting entry from a few countries is not going to help either prevent or control the spread of the new variant. “It is akin to closing a stable door after a horse has bolted. Instead, identify clusters of recent origin and do genomic sequencing. Since the day of first case of ‘Omicron’, establish travel history and identify secondary transmission throughout the world. If the primary case was in early November, it would not be difficult to miss areas of circulation,” he said in a series of tweets.

“Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong cannot be the only areas where ‘Omicron’ has travelled. These areas are the ones that have probably better surveillance and genomic sequencing and hence have reported in a timely manner. Absence of reporting is not absence of circulation,” he tweeted.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 8:05:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/imposing-travel-restrictions-will-not-help/article37731474.ece

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