REUTERS NEXT-Quotes on Omicron variant from Day 1 of the Reuters Next conference

Reuters | Updated: 01-12-2021 23:19 IST | Created: 01-12-2021 23:19 IST
REUTERS NEXT-Quotes on Omicron variant from Day 1 of the Reuters Next conference

Reuters Next is hosting three days of interviews, panels and presentations with 150+ global leaders discussing the biggest business, social and environmental challenges for the year ahead. Following are some notable quotes on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus from the first day of the Dec. 1-3 conference.

JOHN MOORE, PROFESSOR OF MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY AT WEILL CORNELL MEDICAL COLLEGE IN NEW YORK "It is no coincidence to most of us that (the Omicron coronavirus variant) arose in Sub-Saharan Africa, where you have a lot of under-diagnosed HIV infections, or people who are immunocompromised with it.

"That's how the other variants are thought to have arisen - in immunocompromised people." KATE BINGHAM, FORMER HEAD OF UK'S VACCINE TASKFORCE

"It's not something you can do overnight, but we will get data, I've would have thought within a week as to whether or not the vaccines work or don't. "Clearly there's a concern because there's a bunch of mutations that are in a different place and look like they could be concerning. But at the moment, I would still assume that these vaccines will have efficacy. The question is do they have the same level of efficacy?"

PASCHAL DONOHOE, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROGROUP OF EURO ZONE FINANCE MINISTERS AND IRISH FINANCE MINISTER "It is very early days in terms of the health impact of this new variant on all of us. I am confident about our ability to sustain a strong recovery into next year."

"I hope we can avoid those broad health measures again. I am equally confident that we will be able to allow consumption and investment to take place alongside them were they to happen." "There is a radical imperative in how we deal with the impact of a pandemic on an interdependent world, which is that none of us are safe until all of us are safe."

"The scientists in South Africa created a great public good in detecting what was happening in their country and in sharing it in the way they did and it underlines to me how important it is for us to fulfill our obligations to other parts of the world. That's why European Union is the largest exporter of vaccines." UNAIDS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WINNIE BYANYIMA

People with HIV are at higher risk of severe illness if they become infected with coronavirus, so "for developing countries with a high burden of HIV, (access to COVID-19 vaccines) is critical." "We do expect that in the coming years, we might see more deaths, we might see more new (HIV/AIDS) infections as a result of these disruptions."

Vaccine nationalism has been "among the saddest part of where we are." NANDAN NILEKANI, INDIAN TECHNOCRAT, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF SOFTWARE SERVICES EXPORTER INFOSYS

"We don't know what this variant is, we don't know how infectious it is, we don't know how lethal it is. We'll have to wait and see. But I think companies generally are thinking of a world where COVID will be endemic, there will always be some COVID. Zero count COVID is unlikely ... and hopefully once we finish vaccination there'll be less variants but there'll be new variants coming." "So we have to start gearing up for creating a preventive environment where people can come to work, work safely, constant testing, vaccination, booster shots and - if an incident happens - very quick isolation. So we just have to get around this and get on with it because it appears this is a fact of life."

To watch the Reuters Next conference please register here (Compiled by Kate Holton, Padraic Halpin, Catherine Evans and Sankalp Phartiyal Editing by Matthew Lewis)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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