Covid-19: "Delta variant is more worrisome in emerging economies" - Capital Economics

Covid-19: “Variante Delta é mais preocupante nas economias emergentes” – Capital Economics

The consultancy Capital Economics said Monday that the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the new coronavirus is more threatening in emerging economies because the rate of immunization is slower, particularly in Africa and Asia.

"The biggest threat is in emerging economies where vaccination rates remain low and vaccine distribution is slower," write the analysts, in an analysis note sent to investors, to which Lusa had access.

These emerging economies "include almost all African countries and parts of Asia and Latin America," they point out, noting that "although the economic impact will not be as bad as in previous waves, since businesses and people have already adapted, the repercussions will still be significant."

For analysts at Capital Economics, "the real lesson to be learned" is that one will probably have to "learn to live with the covid-19 virus in the long term," since "although hospitalizations have decreased for now, as the vaccine's effectiveness fades, variants may increase."

In that case, they conclude, "a new dose of the vaccine will be needed, which could further delay vaccine distribution in emerging markets, which would accentuate the divergence between the advanced and lagging economies."

Speaking this week on Africa Day at the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga, said that the vaccination rate on the continent is still too low.

"For Africa to be well positioned for economic recovery, the African Union's view is that the first step is to ensure a fair and accelerated supply of vaccines to immunize Africans, because until that is done, and we have less than 3% of the population vaccinated, talk of recovery and resilience become doubly challenging," he said.

During his speech, Muchanga pointed out that "the third wave Africa is going through will have profound impacts this year, next year, and perhaps beyond, and will bring social upheaval that will only be combated if equality is at the center of recovery policies."

This week, the head of Africa at the World Health Organization announced that it took the continent just one month to accumulate one million new cases of covid-19 infection, which has now exceeded six million cases on the continent.

"The third wave continues its destructive path, surpassing another sad milestone, with the continent surpassing six million cases," said Matshidiso Moeti, on WHO Africa's Twitter feed.

In the last month, she added, "Africa registered one million cases, the fastest time to add this number, which took about three months to go from 4 million to 5 million cases."

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