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Omicron lessons from South Africa

South Africa’s experience with Omicron so far offers tentative hope to other economies since it hasn’t pushed up the incidence of very severe illness in the same way that the Delta wave did. The economic impact will depend on how policymakers respond, which will vary across countries. In South Africa’s case, the government has avoided tighter restrictions and, for now, activity doesn’t seem to have been affected. Instead, the focus has been on encouraging people to get vaccinated, but take up hasn’t picked up by nearly as much as the government probably hoped for. In light of the broad interest in this issue, we are making this report available to all clients.

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