| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Omicron hospitalization risk around one third of Delta, UK analysis shows

According to a British investigation of more than a million instances of both kinds in recent weeks, the risk of hospitalization with the Omicron version of coronavirus is around one-third that of the Delta form.

The highly transmissible Omicron variant is causing a rise in COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom, with a daily infection rate of 189,846 recorded on Friday.

Despite the fact that hospital admissions have begun to climb, the government claims that the new variation is gentler than the Delta form.

Unlike earlier peaks in the pandemic, the number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation beds has stayed stable through December.

The analysis was published by the UK Health Security Agency, after it worked alongside Cambridge University MRC Biostatistics unit to analyze 528,176 Omicron cases and 573,012 Delta cases.

It also found that vaccines can work well against Omicron.

“In this analysis, the risk of hospitalization is lower for Omicron cases with symptomatic or asymptomatic infection after 2 and 3 doses of vaccine, with an 81% … reduction in the risk of hospitalization after 3 doses compared to unvaccinated Omicron cases,” the UKHSA said.

Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at UKHSA, said the analysis was in keeping with other encouraging signs on Omicron but said the health service could still struggle with such high transmission rates.

“It remains too early to draw any definitive conclusions on hospital severity, and the increased transmissibility of Omicron and the rising cases in the over 60s population in England means it remains highly likely that there will be significant pressure on the NHS in coming weeks,” she said.

Friday’s daily data update showed 12,395 patients in hospital in England with COVID-19, up from 11,542 on Thursday and continuing a steeply rising trend. However, the figure is well below a peak of more than 34,000 in January.

  • Reuters