Coronavirus: maintain closed borders is not viable in the medium term

Coronavirus: maintenir les frontières fermées n’est pas viable à moyen terme

Geneva | Maintain closed borders is not a strategy “viable” to combat the coronavirus, said on Monday the world Organization against world health organization (WHO), while recognising the difficulty of having a global strategy at the international level.

“This is going to become almost impossible for countries to maintain in the near future their borders closed,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, director of emergencies at WHO, during a virtual press conference.

Many countries in the world are closing their borders to nationals from at-risk areas or impose quatorzaines and tests, but without a concerted strategy.

“Keep international borders closed is not necessarily a viable strategy “, said Dr Ryan.

“The economies need to re-open, people need to work, trade must resume “, he admitted, while acknowledging that each State should take into account the individual risks of opening up its borders.

“It is very difficult to have a policy that suits all. If I am a small nation without a case of Covid-19, a single case (imported) can be a disaster. In a country where the incidence of the disease is important, close the border may not make any difference, ” he continued.

“The measures of restriction of travel should be taken in conjunction with other measures “, he stressed. “Only as such, it is not effective to limit the movements of the virus, which is everywhere,” added the head of the WHO.

“But it is very difficult to define a comprehensive policy “, a-t-he repeated, stressing that the nature of the risk was determined by the local and national situations.

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