When the UK economy reopened to locals, citizens, visitors and international residents earlier this year, we didn’t expect to face a backlash to the new COVID-19 variant. The Omicron variant has a high prevalence rate and is expected to impact the country and the world significantly. There are already several countries around the world that have imposed restrictions, and the threat of another lockdown looms.
What does this mean for UK citizens? What does this mean for the economy? Is it all bad news? Read on to find out.
Omicron spread – how bad are things?
No matter how bleak things may seem, it is important to know that the situation is not as dire as it was this time last year. While the spread of the variable is by far the largest, the impact is much smaller. There are fewer deaths recorded now than in 2020, even if the number of cases is much higher.
The NHS forecasts that the total number of cases registered per day will rise to 1 million if no action is taken. However, due to extensive vaccination programs and reduced severity of this variant, the proportion of hospitalizations from . has decreased 22% (The Guardian) in 2020 with alpha wave to 6% during Omicron wave. Those who were hospitalized with the Omicron UK variant were reported to spend significantly less time recovering than figures from last year. This paints a hopeful picture, but that hasn’t stopped the NHS from acting with extreme caution and taking a worst-case scenario into account.
So far, the number of older people affected by the Omicron variant in the UK in 2022 has been much lower than the numbers from last year, but there is nothing to be said for the future, especially because there are few restrictions despite the rising number of cases in the UK due to holiday season. The final and worst count is expected to happen after January, once the Christmas and New Year’s seasons have passed. According to the NHS, the worst-case scenario will be the same in 2020, but they are hopeful that vaccination and booster shots will reduce the impact.
Although the estimated severity of the Omicron variant is lower than the previous variants, the transmission rate is still very high, which means that the number of hospitalizations will continue to rise. This could mean that healthcare professionals will be more likely to develop infections, leading them to be out of work. In mid-December alone, 19,000 NHS staff were suffering from coronavirus, and now they have to spend at least two weeks in isolation while they recover. A lack of professional assistance under these circumstances can add to the workload and fatigue of those who will remain on active duty, making the situation much worse than it already is.
Another negative impact of the Omicron variant is its effect on service industries. There is already a shortage of workers in the UK, and market research services She suggests that this deficiency will only continue to grow as cases rise. It has already hit the transportation industry, the supply chain industry, the retail industry, the hospitality industry, and more. Inflation is now the highest since the epidemic peaked in 2020 – grocery prices are up 3.2% (CGTN), the cost of delicious snacks rose 7.6%, and even the price of an average Christmas dinner rose more than 3%.
Problems related to the supply chain industry are still getting worse and will continue to perform well until 2022. The lack of functional transportation systems, improper handling of logistics, and the shortage of people working in this field have put a lot of pressure on the world. The economy, the UK is not immune to it. We still do not have a stable infrastructure in place since Brexit, which is another reason why there is such an acute shortage of transport resources.
How about the test rate?
The good thing about this year is that we are better prepared to handle the situation with the changing than we were last year in the country. Since we already have the infrastructures built, we’ve developed faster testing and kits to help limit the spread of the virus. Currently, the UK has the capacity to perform around 800,000 tests per day, and on average less than half of the people who are actually infected get their tests done. But the rates at which the virus is spreading are quite staggering frankly because the numbers are doubling almost every day.
What does this mean for the United Kingdom?
We can only hope that the UK’s Omicron prevalence curve fades soon after the Christmas season ends. The chances of this happening are very high, and there is real hope for the spread to stabilize. It is bound to happen because of the huge number of infected people in the country. The high infection rate will help build up tolerance for the virus, and the growing number of cases will slow.
What about vaccinations?
Vaccination campaigns are in full swing, and the NHS has started promoting the booster shot as well. Because the two doses are not effective in stopping the infection, people will be required to take another booster dose to reduce the effects of the Omicron variant or protect themselves from it.
What lies ahead?
Despite all the measures already being taken by UK healthcare staff and the UK government, the next few weeks will remain crucial for the country’s financial, economic and physical health. Buzzwords describing the current situation and the future remain the same since the pandemic originally struck, and we still live in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, so there can be no guaranteed accuracy of the predictions many of us expect for the future. market research services It can only go so far by helping to collect current data and make predictions about the state of the UK in 2022, but nothing is completely certain about what will happen next year.
There could be new variables emerging in the next few months, and there is nothing we can do to predict the level of risk. We can only hope that the vaccines will help reduce the effect or act against the new variant, which does not seem very likely due to the data at hand. The vaccine is not effective in fighting the Omicron variant, and the newer variants that can appear can change to make the booster shots ineffective as well.
What can we do about this?
The country will not be able to deal with another economic and financial shutdown, especially with high inflation and an increase in the cost of living. It is up to the UK government to handle the impact of the pandemic very cautiously, and it is up to us to take matters into our own hands as well. All we can do is take all safety precautions, maintain social distancing whenever possible, avoid going to crowded places, and wear masks when we are outside. Prevention is always better than cure, and we must do everything we can to stop the spread of disease.