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Apple delays return to office until January 2022 amid Covid surge

In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that employees would need to return to offices three days a week starting in early September. That date was then moved to at least October.

August 20, 2021 / 07:10 PM IST
 (Image: Reuters)

(Image: Reuters)

Apple has delayed return to office until at least January 2022, as the US witnesses a surge in cases of the delta variant of COVID-19.

The iPhone maker said the employees would get a month's notice before they rejoin work in-person, reports The Verge, citing an internal email.

"I know there are feeling of frustration that the pandemic is not yet behind us. For many colleagues around the world, this period has been a time of great tragedy, suffering, and heartbreak. Please know that we are all here to support one another and stand with one another during such challenging times," said, Deirdre O'Brien, senior vice president of people and retail.

In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that employees would need to return to offices three days a week starting in early September. That date was then moved to at least October.

Some employees have pushed back against Apple's hybrid model at workplace.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Earlier, Facebook also delayed its return-to-office plans till early next year.

Microsoft has also pushed its full office reopening date from September to "no earlier than October 4, 2021".

Twitter has shut offices in US, and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office in the later part of the year.

Amazon has also announced to delay its return-to-office timeline by January 2022.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 37,291,739 and 625,153, respectively.
IANS
first published: Aug 20, 2021 07:10 pm

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