Thursday, March 12, 2020

AAPA challenges ‘rationale’ behind mounting global travel restrictions

Yesterday (11 March), the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic, with more than 125,000 confirmed cases in 114 countries and in excess of 4,600 deaths (correct at the time of writing).

The AAPA has urged authorities to roll back or refrain from introducing such measures, reiterating the WHO’s stance that advises against ‘generally infective’ travel or trade restrictions.

These can cause significant disruption to the global economy, supply chains, commerce, trade and most importantly to peoples’ livelihoods, says the AAPA.
Where travel restrictions are introduced, they must be based on careful risk assessments, ensure proportionately to the risk of public health, are short term in nature, and subject to regular revision, adds the association.

Andrew Herdman, Director General, AAPA said: “The proliferation of travel restrictions worldwide, and insufficient adherence to the International Health Regulations are imposing enormous costs on society with little or no public health benefits.

“AAPA appreciates the leadership of WHO on this issue and calls on governments to fundamentally reconsider the rationale for such travel restrictions and measures.

“Governments must strengthen cooperation across borders and work together with WHO, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and other stakeholders to develop a more globally co-ordinated set of policy measures, in addressing the current outbreak, avoiding unnecessary social and economic disruption. Additional resources could then be directed towards strengthening the public health response.”
12/03/20 Luke Barras/TR Business

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