Omicron, a new coronavirus variant is disrupting the already pandemic-struck, says WHO or World Health Organization. South Africa saw the first case of the deadly Omicron variant as the number of cases spiked from 200 to 2,456 on Thursday. The countries that show similar cases include Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium, and Botswana. As California reports the first case of this new variant in the USA, health experts suggest business leaders explore its gruesome global impact.
What’s Known About The Unknown Omicron
While a detailed study of the variant is still in the works, the researchers advise businesses to deploy stricter Covid safety protocols. The severity of omicron including its transmissibility is not yet known. However, vaccinations and social distancing must be amplified throughout the workspace. Omicron comes with 50 mutations while the Delta variant had only two. It is radically different from the coronavirus of Wuhan origin and deadlier. The main cause of concern as reported by experts is the futility of the Covid vaccines when it comes to the omicron variant.
Kathy Hochul, the Governor of New York State declared the urgency of the safety protocols over the new Omicron variant. Hochul declared, “While the new Omicron variant is yet to be detected in New York, it is coming”. She also stressed the importance of taking similar “extraordinary action to prevent the spread of Covid-19” to combat this virus. A recent draft of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for testing foreign nationals for entry into the US stipulates that all travelers must undergo a test within a day of flying into the US whether they have been vaccinated or not.
Omicron Impact On Businesses
Office-goers must wear masks and get vaccines as a precaution. Employers have a significant role to play. They may provide paid days off to the workers to ensure they get the vaccines. And also implement the Covid safety rules. The return-to-office plans take a halt worldwide as the new strain sparks uncertainty of information. Businesses still run the legal risk of mandating work-from-office as public transport or any kind of commute could be dangerous for individuals. Global businesses such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley had resumed their pre-pandemic work-from-office schedule. They are highly likely to reconsider it to save from endangering the lives of their employees.
However, there is good news for global businesses. The production rate of their employees working from home is higher than from the office. Major business houses like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, etc. saw a surge in stock market prices during the corona outbreak with their work-from-home facilities.
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While the uncertainty of the impact of omicron remains, it is safer to go back to the Covid safety protocols nonetheless. Researchers are still unsure whether the vaccines are capable of combating this new variant. However, getting vaccination should still be a top priority as a precaution. There are reports that scientists will be able to provide more details on the strain in 2-4 weeks. As President Biden has called Omicron, it is “not a cause for panic” rather a cause of concern only.