According to new data in the United Kingdom, an analysis of more than one million cases of the coronavirus indicates that the chances of hospitalization of those suffering from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are one about one-third lower, as compared to those from the Delta variant. The study was conducted by the UK Health Security Agency and the MRC Biostatistics unit of Cambridge University was published on Friday. It studied a total of 528,176 cases of the Omicron variant and 573,012 of the Delta variant. The UKHSA said that this analysis showed that risk of hospitalization is significantly lower in case of Omicron infections with, both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases after two to three doses of the vaccine.
Three doses of the vaccine means that the risk of hospitalization due to the Omicron variant is reduced by almost 81%, as compared to unvaccinated cases. But, the analysis did indicate that in symptomatic Omicron infections, the vaccines were able to provide ‘significantly lower’ protection. However, it did stress that protection against hospitalization was a lot greater, especially after a booster shot, as opposed to symptomatic infection. According to the figures released on Friday, there was a 68% increase in the number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus from a week earlier.
This meant that cases had increased to 12,395, which was the highest number to have been recorded since February. There was also a record number of newly confirmed daily cases, as they reached 189,846 and a further 203 deaths were reported by the government. Due to the spread of the new variant, there has also been an increase in hospital admissions, but the government stated that it believes the new strain is milder than the previous one. The UKHSA’s chief medical adviser, Susan Hopkins said that it was still too early to draw any definite conclusions about hospital severity.
This was because the increase in cases amongst the elderly population and the increased transmissibility of the new variant means that there is a good chance that hospitals will be under pressure in the coming weeks. However, it is important to note that even though the number of cases is undoubtedly increasing quickly, the absence of large number of seriously ill elderly people is highly reassuring. Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, had urged people to get tested before going out on Friday and meeting people for New Year celebrations.
Even though fireworks displays in London had been cancelled, a number of parties still happened because no other restrictions had been placed. While some considered this strategy to be dangerous, the fact is that other regions also took the same route. No such restrictions had been imposed on New Year celebrations in Israel either, even though the cases of coronavirus in Israel are also multiplying rapidly because of the Omicron variant. As a matter of fact, an announcement was made on Sunday morning by the Knesset spokesman about Michael Biton, the Blue and White MK, testing positive for COVID-19.
The chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Knesset, Bitonhad last come to the Knesset on Thursday. According to the head of the Knesset Guard, they would conduct an epidemiological investigation with the Health Ministry professionals. It wasn’t disclosed as to how many other Knesset members would be affected. Biton has already received three doses of the vaccine and Israel news indicates that he does not have any symptoms.
On Thursday, he had spent hours in the Knesset where he held a series of long committee hearings. He also had a meeting with local farmers as well as OdedForer, the Agricultural Minister. Last week, everyone who attended the cabinet meeting on Sunday had been required to undergo a coronavirus test before. The Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had left the meeting halfway upon being informed that his daughter had tested positive for COVID-19. He had later tested negative multiple times.