As the frequency of winter infections continues to rise, the World Health Organization has stated that it supports measures to implement mask requirements on long-haul flights in the future. According to officials, countries should examine the advice as a strategy to slow the spread of the current Covid version, which has already been found in numerous countries.
XBB.1.5, otherwise known as Kraken, is a subvariant that is now on the increase in Europe, with WHO officials confirming that they are monitoring its spread. At the moment, Kraken is thought to be the most transmissible Omicron subvariant ever discovered. Dr. Catherine Smallwood, the WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, stated on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, that airline passengers should be urged to wear masks when traveling to and from high-risk regions.
She said: “This should be a recommendation issued to passengers arriving from anywhere where there is widespread Covid-19 transmission”.
While public health officials are closely monitoring the new strain, experts believe it is unclear if XBB.1.5 will cause a fresh wave of illnesses throughout the world. Despite these concerns, experts believe that existing vaccinations will protect against the most severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death.
Dr. Smallwood added, “Countries need to look at the evidence base for pre-departure testing”.