‘Closing international borders unsustainable’

2020-07-28 at 06:57

The World Health Organization says keeping borders closed to halt the spread of COVID-19 is unsustainable and has urged countries to adopt comprehensive strategies based on local knowledge of where the virus is spreading.

Border closures and travel restrictions remain an important part of many countries’ strategy to combat the novel coronavirus.

But the UN health body warned that such measures cannot be kept up indefinitely, and are also only useful when combined with a wide range of other measures to detect and break chains of transmission.

Michael Ryan, WHO emergencies director said continuing to keep international borders sealed is not necessarily a sustainable strategy for the world’s economy, for the world’s poor, or for anybody else.

He acknowledged that when it comes to COVID-19, it is impossible to have a “global one size fits all policy” because outbreaks are developing differently in different countries.

The WHO noted that countries should be prepared to tighten or loosen measures to control the spread of the virus, which has killed some 650,000 people and infected 16.3 million worldwide.