The Omicron variant of COVID-19 adds new uncertainties to the global economic outlook but much will depend on its speed of transmission, hospitalisation and death rates, and also the effectiveness of vaccines, Moody’s Analytics said on Monday.
In its commentary titled ‘Much to Learn About Omicron — Fast’, Moody’s Analytics said although the variant appears to spread “remarkably quickly”, it will be at least two more weeks before more will be known about it. It added that for the Asia-Pacific region there are specific factors to follow in coming weeks, as at least two cases of Omicron have already been detected in Hong Kong and Australia.
“Will policymakers in the region respond by accelerating vaccination programmes? Countries including Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam have still vaccinated less than 65% of their populations (12 years of age and older),” it said.