Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 25

What we know (and don’t) about Omicron

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 8 dicembre 2021

Just over a week ago, the World Health Organisation designated a new “variant of concern” of the SARS-CoV-2 virus—Omicron. It was first spotted by South African scientists and has dominated the story of the pandemic ever since. Although it is still early days in the world’s attempts to understand the new variant, governments and markets have already started to react.Our Briefing this week lays out what is known so far about the new variant. Omicron looks ominous but we examine how bad it is likely to be—the good news is that a lot has been learnt about how to treat covid-19 and how to live with it. In The Economist Explains, we examine why new variants like Omicron might spread more easily. In our “Babbage” podcast, we look for scientific clues to investigate how the Omicron variant might shape the future course of the pandemic. Our data journalists have been tracking the spread of the new variant around the world and raise the concern that a lack of genomic sequencing in many places means that lots of cases are likely to have gone undetected. Though variants of the coronavirus are inevitable, we argue that Omicron is not a punishment for vaccine inequity. Some good news on the vaccine front is that BioNTech’s boss, Ugur Sahin, remains sanguine about the new variant, saying his company’s mRNA jab may need a tweak, but it is most important to speed up the delivery of boosters to people.Meanwhile, the variant and travel bans are hurting southern Africa—South Africans feel unjustly punished for their country’s scientific rigour.In our Finance section, we explain why China’s economy looks especially vulnerable to the spread of Omicron and in an accompanying leader, we look at what the Omicron variant means for the world economy. On our “Money Talks” podcast, our correspondents discuss the Omicron calculus and explain why it has put the world economy in a tight spot.You can also see a film that tackles questions around Omicron, featuring two of our correspondents covering covid, Slavea Chankova and Hal Hodson. By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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