Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the Covid-19 emergency could end this year, but it will require access to vaccines and treatment.
The organization says that if all countries can vaccinate at least 70% of their population by mid-2022, and focus on providing impoverished countries with access to the tools needed to combat the health crisis, the world may be able to finally emerge from the depths of the pandemic.
According to Tedros, half of WHO’s 194 members missed the previous target of vaccinating 40% of their population by the end of 2021.
“We simply cannot end the emergency phase of the pandemic unless we bridge this gap,” said Tedros. “On average last week, 100 cases were reported every three seconds, and somebody lost their life to Covid-19 every 12 seconds.”
Although this strategy would not completely eradicate Covid-19, it would allow society to learn to live alongside the virus without fear of severe risk.
This news comes as companies alter their Covid-related policies in light of rising cases driven by the Omicron variant. For some organizations, ramping up plans that help keep workplaces safe has been at the forefront of their future strategies.
However, others have essentially let go of specific plans, such as Starbucks reversing its vaccine mandate for employees following the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the Biden administration’s executive order for workplace vaccine and testing requirements.
In 2022, it appears that companies are at a crossroads when it comes to business strategy. Many are left struggling to identify which policies will keep workers safe, while also keeping retention rates at a healthy level amidst the Great Resignation.
With little to no guidance on the matter, business leaders need to rely on data, science, and employee feedback to identify the best path forward.