Covid-19 Omicron variant could shape economic market, according to Moody’s Analytics

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 adds new uncertainties to the global economic outlook, but much will depend on its speed of transmission, hospitalization and death rates, as well as the effectiveness of vaccines, Moody’s Analytics said on Monday.

In its commentary titled “Lots of Info About Omicron — Fast”, Moody’s Analytics said that while the variant appears to be spreading “remarkably quickly”, it will be at least two more weeks before more is known about this news. variant.

“The Omicron variant of Covid-19 adds new measures of uncertainty to the outlook for the global economy, although it is too early to adequately quantify this risk. Much will depend on its speed of transmission, virulence, associated hospitalization and death rates, and also the effectiveness of vaccines and antiviral drugs against it, ”said Steve Cochrane, APAC chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

The potentially more contagious new variant was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 24. It has since been identified in around 12 other countries, including Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.

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On Friday, it was designated a “variant of concern” by the WHO, which named it Omicron.

India, which fought the deadly second wave blamed on the Delta variant in April-May, faces the Omicron challenge after significantly easing the brakes following an improvement in the situation.

Moody’s Analytics further said that for the Asia-Pacific region there are specific factors to monitor in the near future, especially since at least two cases of Omicron have already been detected in Hong Kong and Australia.

“First, will policy makers in the region respond by speeding up immunization programs? Countries like Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam still vaccinated less than 65% of their population (12 years and older), ”he said. -he declares.

Stating that already travel and tourism are expected to be one of the slowest components of APAC’s economic recovery, Moody’s Analytics said what the new variant would mean for travel across the land border between Hong Kong and mainland China remains uncertain.

“The new Omicron variant illustrates the risk to the global economy of regions or individual countries that have low vaccination rates. This includes all of sub-Saharan Africa, where rates remain below 50 percent, and 60 countries around the world with rates below 20 percent. hundred, “he said.

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