ICCC Weekly Newsletter
01 January 2022
RIPUDAMAN SINGH DHILLON
Governments need support to change strategy to combat Covid-19 variants
The rapidity with which the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is spreading throughout the world has been astonishing. The global economy, beset with the pandemic since March 2020, was just beginning to emerge out of the shadows. Just when it seemed that it was moving out of the morass, it is facing headwinds again. Globally health authorities have reached a consensus that omicron is not as toxic as the previous variants. However, it is highly contagious. In Ontario alone the cases have risen to 18,000+ within less than a week — the highest number since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020.
The new measures that the Ontario government has announced about the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which will restrict the publicly funded tests only to a select group are necessary for a view of the rapidity, contagiousness, and recurrence of the new variant of the virus. When double and three-times vaccinated people are testing positive, there is a definite need to rethink the approach to combatting the pandemic.
It is becoming clear that the state-enforced economic lockdown is unsustainable eventually. It is a drain on public finance and a death knell for small businesses. If anything, the economic lockdown has created more inequalities in the society, with large corporations becoming larger, and small businesses finding it hard to survive.
Even the reduction of the self-quarantine period to five days is a welcome measure, although its efficacy remains to be proven. If the omicron variant is not as toxic, there is no need for an extended two-week self-quarantine period for all those who show symptoms of the virus.
Finally, we will have to come to terms with the virus and its variants. It is unlikely that we will see the back of Covid-19 soon. Globally, the governments will have to formulate calibrated strategies that aim to achieve minimal economic…