Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], Mar 12 (ANI): The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) is urging governments to roll back or refrain from introducing travel restrictions as reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that COVID-19 outbreak has now spread to over 100 countries.
In the majority of countries, the spread is now predominantly through local transmission rather than from imported cases, said AAPA adding that WHO has repeatedly advised against travel or trade restrictions as such measures are generally ineffective.
Furthermore, travel restrictions cause significant disruptions to supply chains, commerce, trade and most importantly to peoples' livelihoods due to the severe economic impact.
The airline industry is fully committed to the safety and well-being of the travelling public, said AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman.
"Asia Pacific airlines are well-equipped to handle health crises and are strictly following established guidelines developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in consultation with the WHO and Airports Council International (ACI), covering the management of public health risks," he said in a statement.
However, the proliferation of travel restrictions worldwide and insufficient adherence to international health regulations are imposing enormous costs on society with little or no public health benefits, said Herdman.
"Governments must strengthen cooperation across borders and work together with WHO, International Civil Aviation Organisation and other stakeholders to develop a more globally coordinated set of policy measures in addressing the current outbreak, avoiding unnecessary social and economic disruption," he said. (ANI)