Moody’s Analytics: Omicron Could Impact APAC’s Economic Recovery

New Delhi, Nov 29, : According to a new analysis from Moody’s Analytics, low vaccination rates for Covid-19 disease in Asia Pacific countries, including India may increase the risk of Economic recovery.
India, Myanmar and Laos have vaccinated fewer than 65 percent of their population (12 years and older) so far.This includes sub-Saharan Africa where rates are below 50% and 60 countries worldwide with rates below 20%.

 Moody’s Analytics: Omicron Could Impact Apac’s Economic

“The Omicron variant shows the current risk to the global Economic from regions or individuals countries that have low vaccination rates,” said Steve Cochrane (Chief APAC Economist at Moody’s Analytics), in an analysis titled “Much to Learn about Omicron-Fast”, published on Sunday.

He said that policymakers in these countries must respond to Omicron by speeding up vaccination programmes.

The latest variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus B.1.1.529, which is also known as Omicron, was classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as a “Variant Of Concern” (VOC).This means that it could be more contagious, virulent, or skilled at evading public healthcare measures, vaccines, and therapeutics.It was first detected in Botswana, Africa.Since then, it has spread to many European countries, including Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK.

Cochrane pointed out that Omicron could also have an Impact on the travel and tourism sector, which is expected be one of the slowest parts of the Economic Recovery in Asia-Pacific.

“Much of Southeast Asia’s growth, especially in the Philippines and Thailand, is dependent on the industry.

will travel lanes be continued to be opened between selected countries? .This is still uncertain.

Cochrane also suggested that policymakers in APAC should increase the capacity of public healthcare systems to accommodate all those who might need treatment in a future Covid Wave.

Cochrane stated that such investment would be crucial in minimising any new social distancing actions if a new wave of immigrants arrives.

Cochrane stated that while the Omicron version of Covid-19 “adds uncertainty to the outlook on the global economy”, the risk is “dependent on its speed, transmission, virulence and associated rates of hospitalisations and deaths, as well as the effectiveness of vaccines or antiviral medications against them.”

However, scientists will need to continue to study the new variant and the severity it causes, Cochrane stated, adding that “Omicron reminds me that the global Economic Recovery is still tied to the pandemic.”

“We assume that there will be new waves, but that each wave will be less disruptive for the healthcare system than the last.This assumption is supported by the Omicron variant.

Cochrane stated that if the Omicron variant proves to be more contagious and virulent than expected, it will Impact the economy in a disruptive manner.

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