New Delhi: An analysis by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has found that people infected with Omicron were 50–70 per cent less likely to need hospitalisation compared with other Covid-19 variants like Delta, BBC reported.
While calling the finding “encouraging”, the UK Health Security Agency said Omicron could still overwhelm the healthcare system. On Thursday, the UK has set another daily Covid-19 record with 119,789 Covid-19 cases.
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“Our latest analysis shows an encouraging early signal that people who contract the Omicron variant may be at a relatively lower risk of hospitalization than those who contract other variants,” BBC quoted Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UKHSA, as saying.
“Cases are currently very high in the UK, and even a relatively low proportion requiring hospitalisation could result in a significant number of people becoming seriously ill,” Dr Jenny Harries said.
The analysis also found that the Covid-19 vaccine’s ability to protect from the Omicron variant starts to wane 10 weeks after a booster dose.
The analysis is based on all cases of Omicron and Delta in the UK since the beginning of November, including 132 people admitted to hospital with the variant, BBC reported.
UK has also reported 14 deaths due to the Omicron variant.
The analysis also found that two Covid-19 vaccine doses offered limited protection against Omicron, which was then restored with a booster dose. This protection drops by between 15-25 per cent after 10 weeks, the report said.
The report vindicates data from South Africa, Denmark, England and Scotland that Omicron infections more often result in mild illness than earlier variants of the coronavirus.
People who have been infected with other variants before or who have been vaccinated are mostly contracting Omicron, the analysis found.
Omicron infects the human body in a different way than other variants, explaining why it is milder. Omicron is found to be better at infecting our airways rather than the deep tissues of the lungs. This makes it easier for the variant to spread, but milder as it is further away from the delicate parts of the lungs.
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