Sajid Javid, the UK Health Secretary, has welcomed some very interesting research.
This research suggests omicron may produce less severe sickness than earlier COVID strains, but has warned it might still result in “substantial” hospitalizations.
It is Incredibly Mild
When compared to the delta variant, Imperial College London researchers calculated individuals with omicron were 20% to 25% less likely to require hospital treatment. The researchers also found they are 40% to 45% less likely to be admitted for one day or more.
A healthy immune system, or protection from a previous illness, reduces the likelihood of admission by 50%. It also reduces the stay in a hospital of one day or more by 61%, according to the study.
In a second Scotland-wide report titled Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Monitoring of COVID-19, researchers found the omicron strain is linked to a two-thirds lower likelihood of hospitalization than delta.
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“That is, of course, wonderful, positive news,” Javid remarked in response to the fresh findings on Thursday. “They are not really clear yet by just how much this risk is lowered,” he said.
“We do know omicron spreads a lot faster and is a lot more contagious than delta; so any benefits from lower hospitalization risks need to be balanced against that,” he told reporters.
“Even if a much lower percentage of persons are at risk of hospitalization, if that percentage is a much lower proportion of a much greater number, considerable hospitalizations could still occur.”
Before Christmas, Javid stated there will be no more statements on the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) viral restrictions in England.
“We don’t have any more things planned for this week,” he stated. “Despite our collective caution, folks should enjoy their Christmases with their family and friends, remaining vigilant.”
I wanted to confirm that people can go ahead with their Christmas plans.
But we’re keeping a constant eye on the data and can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 21, 2021
“We’ll keep an eye on the situation. We are constantly learning new things, as we have done with this fresh data. We’ll continue to analyze that data, and if we need to do anything further, we’ll do it, but nothing else will happen until Christmas.”
Gillian Keegan, the minister of health, said on Wednesday that information on the seriousness of omicron is “one of the bits missing” that officials have been waiting for.
“There is a degree of ambiguity in the statistics,” she told the BBC. “Given the high disease transmission of the omicron infection, there is the potential for healthcare services to confront increased demand.
“This is the situation if omicron cases continue to develop at the pace seen in recent weeks,” said Professor Neil Ferguson, who spearheaded the Imperial College research.
According to the BBC, the latest research may not necessarily be applied to senior individuals, according to Professor Andrew Hayward, head of the University College London (UCL) Institute of Epidemiology and Medicine.