January 20, 2022

The World Stock Markets Tips & Targets, News, Views & Updates

The World Stock Markets Tips & Targets, News, Views & Updates

Containing Covid, unchaining economy

Narendra Modi’s advice to chief ministers to be pre-emptive and proactive in tackling the third wave, and opting for local containment rather than lockdowns, makes sense. Limiting disruptions through local containment zones will ensure that economic activity, despite potential workforce shortages, will continue. The need to limit transmission while keeping ‘business open’ can happen only when disruptions are well-defined and localised. The most effective instrument of containment, of course, is vaccination and observing Covid protocols.

Scientists have stressed the role of vaccines in lowering the disease’s virulence. Omicron may be milder than

, but it is not a ‘mild’ variant – it is vaccination that provides protection. This is evident in global assessments that have found an overwhelming number of Omicron-related hospitalisation cases comprising the unvaccinated. Which is why there must be no slackening in vaccinating the 15-18 year old category, and providing booster doses for healthcare workers and senior citizens right now. Strict adherence to masking and avoiding crowding – a continuing challenge – can flatten the rate of transmission without lockdowns. Last week, a group of former health experts to Joe Biden underlined the need to prepare to ‘safely live with Covid’ as it is unlikely to go away. This includes setting ‘appropriate risk threshold’, measured in hospitalisations and deaths, into policy, which, in turn, will set a cut-off when ‘surge measures’ (bed and workforce capacities) need to be enacted in the future.

Much like any health or natural emergency policy, Covid has to be negotiated with in the long term. Knowing when to dial up and dial down localised restrictions is necessary in such a ‘permanent plan’. If we are to live with Covid, we also need to know how to go about our business – livelihoods and industry – with the virus. Governments and the citizenry must act with greater responsibility. Localised containments can contain caseloads, and keep the economic critical mass healthy, wealthy and wise.

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