Washington DC [US], December 1 (ANI/Sputnik): The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said on Wednesday that it has issued a new bulletin calling on nations to implement a more measured and evidence-based approach to air transport restrictions regarding the coronavirus Omicron variant.
"In line with the latest recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), ICAO issued a new global bulletin today urging a more measured and evidence-based approach to countries' national air transport restrictions due to the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant," the organization said in a press release.
The emergence of Omicron has resulted in the implementation of travel restrictions on travellers from southern African countries primarily by Western and other governments in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus variant.
"Until more detailed assessments are available, the UN aviation agency is encouraging countries to continue combatting the spread of COVID-19, and specifically the Omicron variant, using the recommendations and guidance contained in the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force's (CART) Take-off Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis, in addition to the third edition of ICAO's Manual on COVID-19 Cross-Border Risk Management," the release said.
ICAO also pointed out that the restrictions are affecting millions of livelihoods globally and the basic capabilities of many countries to pursue current UN Agenda 2030 and Common Agenda objectives for global sustainability, prosperity, equality and well-being.
"Countries are encouraged to follow and implement ICAO's guidance with the coordination and support of the ICAO Regional Offices, and according to their specific national needs and circumstances," the release said.
The new Omicron variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa on November 24. According to the WHO, its high number of mutations in spike protein could make it more transmissible than all previous strains. South African medical official have reported the variant was found in fully vaccinated individuals and the cases are mild. (ANI/Sputnik)