SICC | Singapore International Chamber Of Commerce | Raffles Quay – The voice of international business in singapore
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7 DEC 2021  |  ISSUE 378

Dear Members and Friends

The emergence of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is no surprise given unequal vaccination rates around the world, most especially in developing countries, and the lack of trust too many people have in their leaders and/or in vaccination.

Governments have come in for a lot of criticism for closing borders or reimposing quarantine restrictions because of Omicron but they don’t deserve it. Many countries waited too long to close borders earlier in the year which allowed the Delta variant to spread widely. It is good more governments are learning from past experience and acting fast this time around. Borders can be reopened quickly and restrictions reduced if Omicron does not turn out to be the big threat it might be.

We will all know for sure in a few weeks when the scientists complete their tests. They will be able to tell us how dangerous Omicron is, how transmissible it is and how effective current vaccines are against it. Let us all hope the mild symptoms currently experienced by young adults with Omicron in Africa are the precursor of good news: that mild symptoms can be expected for everyone and that current vaccines do protect us against this latest variant.

What is needed is for vaccine production to be scaled up and vaccines to be distributed to all countries. It is enlightened self-interest for richer countries to make this happen. It is also the right thing to do.

Keep safe and well.

Yours faithfully
Victor Mills
Chief Executive
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Ad Hoc Announcements Ad Hoc Announcements
The Chamber and its Certification Services Department will be closed as follows in addition to the gazetted public holidays in December 2021:

15 December 2021 (Wednesday) from 11.30am to 2.30pm for a team meeting

24 December 2021 (Friday) from 1.00pm on the eve of Christmas Day

31 December 2021 (Friday) from 1.00pm on the eve of New Year

Please take note of these closures and advise all your relevant colleagues to minimise inconvenience.
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