There is clearly a lot of cynicism towards science and medicine in South Africa, says the British professor and covid advisor, who points to the optimistic personalities from South Africa.
Early studies from South Africa, where the omicron variant was first discovered, show that the risk of hospitalization among 78,000 omicron cases is 29 percent lower than the original Wuhan variant and 23 percent lower than the delta variant.
Only five percent of the admitted Omicron patients ended up in the intensive care unit, while the same number for the delta variant was 22 percent, he writes. telegraph.
– increasingly silly
Professor Robert Dingwall at Nottingham Trent University, Covid advisor to the British government. He believes the numbers from South Africa do not justify the panic that is spreading.
– Omicron’s case seems increasingly absurd. There is obviously a lot of arrogance towards science and medicine in South Africa, but their best people have the same skills you’d find in more developed countries, he tells the same paper.
“It is quite clear that they do not feel that the elitist panic here is justified,” he says.
My gut feeling is that Omicron is very similar to the flu-like pandemic we had planned, with lots of sick leave from work for short periods, which would create difficulties for public services and economic activity, but not to such an extent that it becomes a huge problem for health services and the home industry, the professor says. mortuary telegraph.
The biggest threat to public health
But far from everyone agrees with Dingwall. The chief executive of Britain’s Health Security Agency, Dr Jenny Harris, told the British House of Representatives that the Omicron variant “is perhaps the biggest threat to public health since the start of the pandemic”. She notes that it is currently too early to give a proper estimate of the severity of the situation, but stresses that the data in the next few days will be “amazing” when compared to previous variables, Sky News.
Denmark’s Peter Reinhard Hansen, professor of economics at the University of North Carolina, says preliminary numbers from Denmark’s Serum Statins Institute do not give much reason for optimism.
He writes: “We all hope Omicron will be milder, but early Danish evidence is not very supportive.” Twitter.
Hansen refers to figures published on hospital admissions and confirmed infections in Denmark from November 22 to December 12. The report, published on December 13, showed that 0.8 percent of all confirmed omicron cases in Denmark during this period (3,437 cases) ended up in hospital. In comparison, 0.7 percent of all confirmed cases with other variants (88,940 cases) were hospitalized, the report shows from Serum Statins Institute.
However, a recent, updated report from December 14, also published by the Serum Statins Institute, shows a lower proportion of hospital admissions among Omicron cases.
While 0.6 percent of all confirmed Omicron cases in Denmark during this period (4,460 cases) ended up in hospital, 0.8 percent of all confirmed cases with other variants (90,150 cases) were hospitalized, the report shows from Serum Statins Institute.
– Don’t think Omicron is any milder
Dr. Paul Burton, medical director of vaccine maker Moderna, cautions against assumptions that the Omicron variant is lighter and less severe than the Delta variant. Watchman.
“I don’t think Omicron is the more benign and less dangerous alternative than the current one,” Burton told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
He further says that the omicron and delta variants will likely coexist for some time to come.
– The idea that (omikron editor’s note) will get out of the way and take over, may happen in the future. But I think these two types of viruses will coexist for several months to come. And Omicron, which I would say is a serious disease, Burton says, will now infect people with massive strong delta pressure in the background.
They can have both at the same time
It would also lead to a situation where you could get both at the same time, making it easier for the virus to evolve and mutate further. He says this is a worrying situation.
We absolutely don’t need to panic. We have many tools available. We have learned a lot about this virus over the past two years and we can continue to fight it. But I think Omicron is a real threat, says Burton.
When you look at data from South Africa, nearly 15 percent of hospital admissions are intensive care patients. And while there are differences, if you look at the data from early this year in August during the delta wave, those numbers were about the same now, 15 percent, he says.
– Although the death numbers seem lower now, fortunately, I think the course of the disease is very serious, he says.
It could be due to a previous injury
Vaccination researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand, Shabbir Mahdi, points out that the relatively low numbers of hospitalizations and the relatively mild course of the disease in South Africa during the omicron wave, are not necessarily due to the omicron being less pathogenic than the delta variant, according to Watchman.
It is believed that previous exposure to Covid infection in previous waves may have boosted the immune system. Al-Mahdi refers to studies that indicate that about 72 percent of the population in Gauteng province, South Africa, has previously been infected with the COVID-19 virus. Gauteng province is the epicenter of the Ommicron outbreak in South Africa.
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