WHO recommends over-60s ‘postpone travel’ due to Omicron fears as CDC director says US is increasing COVID testing at FOUR US airports in effort to stop spread

- Advertisement -


  • CDC Director Dr Rochelle Valensky said Tuesday that the agency is expanding its COVID-19 testing and surveillance program to four US airports
  • Airports include JFK Airport in New York, Newark Liberty in New Jersey, San Francisco Airport in California, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in Georgia.
  • Valensky said the program would offer increased COVID testing for specific international arrivals to limit the spread of the Omicron variant
  • The variant was first identified last week in South Africa and is believed to have originated in Botswana
  • It comes as the WHO on Tuesday recommended at-risk groups, including people aged 60 and above and those with pre-existing conditions, ‘postpone travel’.

- Advertisement -

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the agency is increasing COVID-19 testing at four US airports in an effort to stop the spread of the Omicron variant as the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified some vulnerable groups were recommended. stop traveling.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Rochelle Valensky said the CDC’s bio-monitoring program is being expanded to airports, including direct flights to South Africa.

advertisement

Three of the four airports – New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and San Francisco International Airport in California – have already been enrolled in the program, but Omicron’s survey required It was expanded.

The program is now being extended to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, where Delta Air Lines operates three flights a week from Johannesburg.

- Advertisement -

It comes as the WHO suggested that at-risk groups, including those over the age of 60, should not travel in view of the new version.

scroll down for video

CDC Director Dr Rochelle Valensky said Tuesday (above) that the CDC is expanding its COVID-19 testing and surveillance program to four US airports to limit the spread of the Omicron variant.

Airports include JFK Airport in New York, Newark Liberty in New Jersey, San Francisco Airport in California, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in Georgia.  Image: A passenger receives an in-airport COVID-19 nasal swab test prior to their flight to Hawaii at Los Angeles International Airport in November 2020

Airports include JFK Airport in New York, Newark Liberty in New Jersey, San Francisco Airport in California, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in Georgia. Image: A passenger receives an in-airport COVID-19 nasal swab test prior to their flight to Hawaii at Los Angeles International Airport in November 2020

At the briefing, Valensky said testing and surveillance were being expanded to ‘four of the country’s busiest international airports’.

XpresCheck, a health company that runs the program with the CDC, offers two different COVID-19 tests for people five and older: a rapid test that gives results within 15 minutes and a PCR test that gives more than one Gives results in three days.

“CDC is evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible, including closer to the timing of critical partner test flights and ideas around additional post arrival testing and self-quarantine,” Valensky said at the briefing.

‘This program allows for increased COVID testing for specific international arrivals, enhances our ability to identify people with COVID-19 upon arrival in the United States and enhances our surveillance for the Omron variant.’

The CDC initially started a program to screen travelers between late January and early September.

It comes as the WHO on Tuesday recommended at-risk groups, including people aged 60 and above and those with pre-existing conditions, 'postpone travel'.  Image: Passengers wait to board a Delta Air Lines flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in April 2021

It comes as the WHO on Tuesday recommended at-risk groups, including people aged 60 and above and those with pre-existing conditions, ‘postpone travel’. Image: Passengers wait to board a Delta Air Lines flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in April 2021

However, it was closed after only nine cases were detected among over 766,000 passengers.

Instead, the US requires all international travelers already arriving in the US to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country.

Additionally, a pilot program was launched in September at select airports, aimed at identifying existing and new variants.

The Omicron variant has 50 mutations, more than 30 of which are on the spike protein, which is used by the coronavirus to enter and infect cells.

By comparison, the delta variant had two mutations on the spike protein.

Preliminary evidence suggests that it is more transmissible than previous forms, but it is not clear whether it causes more severe illness or death.

one in Statement Released on Tuesday, the WHO spoke out against blanket travel restrictions, saying they would not stop the international spread of omsiron

The European Union, the UK and the US imposed travel restrictions for South Africa and some nearby countries.

“Blanket travel bans will not stop international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods,” the WHO wrote.

‘Furthermore, they can adversely affect global health efforts during a pandemic by discouraging countries to report and share epidemiological and sequencing data.

Instead, the agency recommended that specific vulnerable groups delay travel.

“People who are unwell or at risk of developing serious COVID-19 disease and dying, including people 60 years of age or older or with comorbidities (such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes),” the statement said. If they are, they should be advised to postpone the journey. Reading.

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories