South African research points to reduced hospitalisations with Omicron, compared to Delta

Results of a study by South African scientists indicated that people infected with the Omicron variant of the virus SARS-CoV-2 are less likely to develop a severe illness and be hospitalised than people infected with the delta variant of the virus. Researchers also pointed to the high immunity proportion in the population, British-Canadian news agency Reuters reports.
The research was conducted by a group of scientists from the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and other significant institutions such as the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The scientists included several caveats and cautioned against jumping to conclusions about Omicron’s intrinsic aspects. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, found that people diagnosed with Omicron in South Africa between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 were 80% less likely to be admitted to hospital than those diagnosed with another variant in the same period.
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The study showed that people, who were hospitalised in South Africa with Omicron in October to November were 70% less likely to develop severe disease than those admitted with the Delta variant in the period between April and November. Meanwhile, among patients admitted to South African hospitals from October 1 to November 31, people with Omicron had a similar chance of developing severe disease as those with other variants.
«Compellingly, together our data really suggest a positive story of a reduced severity of Omicron compared to other variants», concluded Professor Cheryl Cohen of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, one of the study’s researchers as quoted by Reuters.