Word Economic Forum
The Omicron variant is here - what comes next? Here are 5 possibilities

Potential positive impacts from Omicron

The World Economic Forum (WEF) analyses possible outcomes from the Omicron variant to help leaders in their decision-making and prepare us for a range of future situations. In a favorable scenario, the consequences of this variant could be unexpectedly positive in the fight against the pandemic.

It will take some weeks before scientist get definitive answers on the severity of the Omicron variant. In the meantime, the WEF released this article to help leaders to structure their decision-making and planning around Omicron:

  • The Omicron crisis may unexpectedly have positive reactions: According to the WEF “an upside scenario remains possible, for now”, as this new variant will:
    - Take countries out of complacency regarding the need to push through to higher vaccination levels and to keep social distance measures.
    - Foster international collaboration to face a global shared risk, mobilizing a faster roll-out of vaccines globally.
    - Avoid an early withdrawal of public support policies against covid-19, as this temporary crisis will justify continued government support for economies.
    - Highlight the real nature of inflation in a more severe scenario. If it is supply-driven and temporary, new constraints on trade to protect public health, may drag inflation higher. On the contrary, if it is demand-driven, new lockdowns and restrictions would imply lower consumption and lower inflation rates.
  • However, risks to derail positive reactions remains:
    - Lack of collaboration and solidarity across countries and inside them, where social unrest against new restriction measures could be exacerbated, as we have seen in Europe.
    - Lack of trust in governments which have eroded the sense of a secure and common future for all.
    - Vaccine hesitancy in the developing world, which is emerging as a bigger problem than the lack of vaccines.

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