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International News: World Health Organization recommends mask-wearing on long flights

Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2023. 9:52 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that countries should consider recommending that passengers wear face masks on long flights, Reuters report.

Health experts are monitoring the rapid increase in cases of COVID-19 driven by the latest Omicron subvariant.

WHO officials in Europe say that the XBB.1.5 subvariant is being detected in small but growing numbers.

WHO’s Senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood said that passengers on long-haul flights should be advised to wear masks.

“This should be a recommendation issued to passengers arriving from anywhere where there is widespread COVID-19 transmission,” she added.

The XBB.1.5 sub variant is the most transmissible Omicron subvariant detected and is accounting for 27.6% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the first week of 2023.

In addition, WHO officials said that countries should implement travel measures in a non-discriminatory manner.


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