The Omicron variant has sounded alarm bells around the world and in India, with administrations deciding to shut down if the case escalates after the advent of the covid mutant, which is said to be more contagious than the Delta variant. However, experts around the world have repeated the generally mild nature of the disease caused by the variant.
The Delta variant, which emerged earlier this year, was still dubbed as the deadliest variant of Covid-19 and caused a devastating wave of the disease in India in April and May. It has also filed lawsuits in Europe and the United States over the winter months, raising concerns among officials, including Omicron’s increased contagion from South Africa.
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However, the case of variant, which has reached about 1,000 in India, is known to be much lighter. If the variant replaces Delta as the dominant Covid-19 variant around the world, the lethality of the disease could be reduced, some experts say. However, others have warned that in the face of growing progress, as Omicron is proving, healthcare systems may eventually come to an understanding, even if slightly delayed.
U.S. officials say Kovid’s death is less than hospitalized in Omicron
Rochelle Wallensky, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Wednesday that the spread of the highly contagious omicon variant of the coronavirus has caused COVID-19 deaths and hospital admissions to be “relatively low”, with cases reaching record highs in the United States. Omicron has grown rapidly across the country in the last few weeks and we hope that this promotion will continue in the coming weeks. Although the number of cases has increased significantly compared to last week, the number of hospital admissions and deaths has been relatively low, “he said, referring to the overall case.
He said the current seven-day daily average has risen by 60% over the previous week to about 240,400 per day. In a White House briefing, Walensky told reporters that for the same period, the average daily hospital admissions rate dropped from 14% to about 9,000 per day and deaths from about 1,100 per day to about 7%. The average number of confirmed coronavirus cases per day in the United States reached a record high on Wednesday.
Less than Delta hospital admissions ratio: Anthony Fawcett
Preliminary U.S. data suggests that hospitalization-to-case ratios will be lower than the Delta variant of Omicron, the top U.S. infectious disease, Anthony Fawcett said in a briefing, but COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be important in tackling this. “All indications point to the low intensity of Omicron vs. Delta,” he said. “Boosters are important for our approach to Omicron to be the best.”
Following in the footsteps of many developed countries, India will start giving a ‘caution’ or booster dose to its vulnerable population from next year.
Alarm bells are not silent though, experts say
Bloomberg Albert Coke, chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, was quoted as saying that because the new form has spread so easily, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States could continue to rise, although not as severe as at this time. Delta waves that hit in the middle of the year.
“We are seeing a significant increase in cases and a much lower increase in hospital admissions and deaths. But we still have 65,000 people who are currently hospitalized due to covid and we are already killing 1,500 people every day, “Co said. Bloomberg In an interview
Is the population less resistant to disease even after hospitalization?
A South African study has suggested that people infected with the Delta One vs. Omicron coronavirus variant should be hospitalized and reduce their risk of serious illness, although the authors say some of this is probably due to the high population immunity. The new study, which was not peer-reviewed, attempted to assess the severity of the disease by comparing data on omicron infections in October and November with data on delta infections between April and November, all over South Africa.
The analysis was performed by a team of scientists from major universities, including the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the University of Witwatersrand and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The authors found that the risk of hospitalization was approximately 80% lower for Omicron sufferers than for Delta, and for those who were hospitalized, the risk of serious illness was about 30% lower.
However, they did include a number of caveats and warned against jumping to conclusions about the underlying features of Omicron.
They wrote, “It is difficult to observe the relative contribution of high levels of immunity in the previous population versus the severity of internal low disease.”
Omicron could replace Delta, but is that good news?
Experts in Singapore, where 170 new Omicron cases were reported on Wednesday, warned that the new and supposedly more contagious form could replace Delta in the next few weeks to months. Although Delta is still the most common variant on all continents except Africa, Omicron is spreading very fast, says Dr. Sebastian Maure-Stroh, executive director of the state-owned Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Institute of Bioinformatics.
However, Bhramar Mukherjee, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, warns against complacency in the news that the variant has become lighter.
“In terms of infection, world data shows that people who have been vaccinated and have been infected in the past are at an admirable risk of relapse without a booster. Many people in India have had both vaccines and covid, it may be helpful but we do not have the data yet. Many people fall ill in a short period of time, even if a small fraction requires medical care, the burden will strain the system. This will affect the care of other diseases. We know that disruption of care leads to death, “he said in a thread on Twitter.
What do experts say about India?
Several states in India, including Delhi and Maharashtra, have launched lockdown measures amid growing cases, with experts reiterating that the third wave of Covid-19 in India, triggered by Omicron, may not be as severe as the second due to various reasons.
These include a reduction in the severity of varicose veins, increased exposure to covid, and increased vaccination coverage.
Dr. Shashank Yoshi of Maharashtra Covid Task Force told CNBC-TV18 in an interview that the third wave has already started in Mumbai and the serious Covid-19 cases were due to delta, not Omicron variant. He said very few were admitted to the hospital and most were being treated at home. “It simply came to our notice then. We do not advise people to go to any church, avoid ceremonies like weddings, “he said.
India will see an increase in omicron-powered covid and higher positive rates, but the infection is expected to be milder in most people as seen in South Africa, said Dr. Angelique Quetzi, who identified the first variant, in an earlier report. The chairperson of the South African Medical Association added that existing vaccines would certainly control the infection but that those who had not been vaccinated had a 100 per cent “risk”.
With input from Reuters, PTI.
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