Just a quick heads up as many people hurry to cry “victory!” after recent announcements from UK, France, Czech Republic and even Israel.
I can’t fully be with you due to personal issues, but I don’t want to let you fall in another trap and later disappointment either.
Israel: “Finance minister calls for end to Green Pass”
- Global leaders have been looking at what 2022 might hold for the COVID-19 pandemic at The Davos Agenda.
- Speakers addressed questions around vaccine equity, the impact on society and economics and whether it might become endemic.
- Below are some of the key talking points.
We’re heading towards the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted lives and livelihoods across the planet and led to at least 5.5 million deaths around the world.
As the Omicron COVID-19 variant surges in many countries – and indeed saw the deferral of an in-person meeting in Davos – the pandemic has been front of mind for many at The Davos Agenda.
So, where is the virus headed? Here’s what speakers from different sectors have said so far this week.
Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic
Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, opened this week by reminding us of the work that’s already been done.
“The international community has fought a tenacious battle,” he said.
The global vaccination drive has played a major role in the progress we’ve made so far, with Richard Hatchett, the CEO of CEPI, reminding us of the work of COVAX.
The vaccine-sharing facility, which CEPI co-leads alongside Gavi and the World Health Organization, delivered its one billionth dose of COVID-19 vaccines over the weekend.
The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, though, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reminded us – and that has driven the response in his country.
Endemic or pandemic?
The history of infectious diseases can tell us something about the next stages of the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explained.
Endemicity would mean ‘a non-disruptive presence without elimination’, he said. Similar to other cold-weather upper respiratory infections or parainfluenzas, he explained.
We’re not going to eliminate this virus, he said.
Richard Hatchett said his long-term view is that we should anticipate COVID-19 will behave more like flu.
“It will continue to circulate, it will be around, people will get sick and there will be continual evolution of the virus.”
Mike Ryan, the Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, struck a cautionary tone though in the Meeting the Challenge of Vaccine Equity session.
“We won’t end the virus this year,” he said. “We may never end the virus. Pandemic viruses end up becoming part of the ecosystem. What we can end is the public health emergency.”
And, in terms of endemic versus pandemic, he was clear. “Endemic does not mean good,” he said, citing the examples of endemic malaria or endemic HIV which kill 100,000s of people. “Endemic just means it’s here forever.”
“What we need to do is get to low-levels of disease incidence, with maximum vaccination of our populations, so nobody has to die.” That’s the end of the emergency, that’s the end of the pandemic, he concluded.
And Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yara International ASA, told us that a move from shareholder to stakeholder capitalism isn’t just needed, it’s expected, he said.
And, sustainability and environmental concerns will remain paramount – particularly in light of COP26.
Our lifestyles and our throwaway culture have exacerbated the climate challenge, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. It’s essential we move towards a circular economy, he explained.?
The next steps
The path is unlikely to be smooth though. Beyond the health challenges discussed above – vaccine equity, for example – hurdles need to be overcome in areas from trust to reform in global systems.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, explained more about the issue of trust.
And she wasn’t alone. Speakers at the announcement of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship’s Social Innovators of the Year 2022 award were also clear on the issue of trust.
The global community needs to work together, even more than it has already, speakers from across sessions agreed. This is particularly important to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines, explained President Xi Jinping.
And reform is needed, whether of global financial systems, or the means by which we can equitably produce and distribute vaccines.
And there it goes… Climate-19 in full swing, as I predicted almost 2 years ago
Also have you seen this below? Well, consider their hopes for vaccination rates have bee crushed by our resistance, hence the delay and later desperation.
To be updated, most probably.
To be continued?
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