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WHO stresses importance of fighting COVID-19 within borders, noting travel bans cannot be indefinite

(People's Daily Online)    14:59, July 29, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed on Monday that bans on international travel cannot stay indefinitely, while each country should do more to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within its borders.

Photo taken on Jan. 30, 2020 shows the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. (Xinhua/Chen Junxia)

The WHO’s announcement came on the heels of the UK throwing the reopening of Europe’s tourism industry into panic by ordering a quarantine on travellers returning from Spain.

Only with strict adherence to health measures, from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, will the world be able to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they are not, cases go up," he said, praising Canada, China, Germany and South Korea for controlling their outbreaks.

According to Reuters, WHO emergencies program head Mike Ryan said it was impossible for countries to keep borders shut for the foreseeable future. He further noted that measures must be consistent and kept in place long enough to ensure their effectiveness and public acceptance, and governments investigating clusters should be praised, not criticized.

Ryan said Spain's current situation was nowhere near as bad as it had been at the pandemic's peak there, and he expected clusters to be brought under control, though it would take days or weeks to discern the disease's future pattern. 

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