WHO Extends Travel Restrictions To ‘polio-endemic’ Pakistan For Three Months


republicworld– The World Health Organization(WHO) has extended travel restrictions to Pakistan for another three months as it is a polio-endemic country. The international public health body has taken the decision as Pakistan has been named among the last polio-endemic countries, ANI cited Daily Pakistan report. The 30th meeting of the Emergency Committee was conducted under the International Health Regulations on the poliovirus spread in the world. During the meeting, which was convened by WHO Director-General on 3 November, the committee acknowledged the completion of the surveillance review in Pakistan and found “a high likelihood that the current WPV1 detection is valid.”

The WHO in the statement after the 30th Polio IHR Emergency Committee highlighted that the problem in Pakistan remains the missed children and added that progress towards it can be made through innovative ways. The WHO mentioned that the country needs to make efforts towards deploying vaccination teams and organising health camps. In addition, the committee during the meeting highlighted the polio situation in Afghanistan.

Emergency Committee review data on WPV1

The UN committee in the statement noted that the unvaccinated children continue to remain in Afghanistan due to “extended inaccessibility of insecurity reasons” and the humanitarian situation that has affected the implementation of the programme. During the meeting, the Emergency Committee reviewed the data on wild poliovirus (WPV1) and distributing vaccine-derived polioviruses. The Emergency Committee also received technical updates about the polio situation in Afghanistan, China, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and Ukraine.

Furthermore, the committee stated that that the wild poliovirus(WPV1) spread has witnessed a drop to low levels as no new case has been reported since January 2021. The two WPV1 cases that were reported in January were found in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The committee found that the number of specimens that is positive in Pakistan is 10% in comparison to 56% in 2020.