On Thursday, December 23 at 19:30 GMT:
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued unabated throughout 2021, with coronavirus now estimated to have infected more than 276 million people worldwide. More than 5.3 million people have died.
The reach of vaccination campaigns in developed countries promoted cautious optimism among some public health officials that 2022 would the year that the pandemic would begin to recede, after waves of Delta infections around the world.
But then came Omicron. The highly mutated SARS-Co-V-2 variant has taken rapid hold in nearly every corner of the world since South Africa reported it to the World Health Organization on November 24.
Now countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas are reimposing control measures in an effort to buy their already overwhelmed healthcare systems some time to adapt to the world’s newest variant of concern.
Yet global health inequalities may deepen. While highly-vaccinated populations in rich countries may be able to withstand the worst of Omicron, developing nations that have had little access to effective vaccines may continue to face further peril.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at what may lie ahead for the world as coronavirus continues its march into 2022.
Anant Bhan, @AnantBhan
Bioethicist and medical researcher