Instead, travel restrictions do not solve the problem – they just stop it, says Raghib Ali, a epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, UK. Better measurement is the best option.
“We want to respond appropriately and appropriately. This means that there are no travel restrictions, but testing and isolation of people from countries around the omicron,” says Ali.
Restrictions on travel can have some side effects: cutting South Africa from the scientific materials that are required to conduct genomic research to study how the omicron affects real-world events. Tulio de Oliveira, bioinformatician at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa told Nature“By next week, if nothing changes, we will be able to track the reagents.”
The biggest fear is that the lesson that other countries can learn from the aid of southern African countries is that if you find a new species, it is best not to keep it to yourself.
“They see others being punished for seeing a new species, and this can prevent them from sharing what we want. This is not just a fantasy, it is real,” says Ali.
Omicron may not be the last type of concern. When the next hit, we need countries to share their knowledge soon. Restricting the movement of the blanket puts that opening at risk.
“The imposition of sanctions against Africa is a threat to international cooperation,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Director for WHO Africa, said in a statement last week.