- A study by South African scientists shows that Omicron is a far milder variant than previous strains of Covid-19
- The study, conducted by scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, shows that people with Omicron present less severe symptoms
- Most of the people who have been hospitalised and died from Omicron were unvaccinated or had not received their booster injection
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JOHANNESBURG - A South African study has shown that Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant. The study says that people who have the new variant are 80% less likely to require hospitalisation.
Professor Cheryl Cohen, a co-author of the study and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases' (NICD) respiratory disease unit's leader, said that those who have been hospitalised as a result of Omicron generally have milder symptoms.
Cohen said that due to the majority of previous Covid-19 infections not having a variant type attached, it is challenging for the NICD scientists to know if protection was offered from antibodies or vaccination.
What the new Omicron study shows
Cohen said that sub-Saharan countries who have experienced previous Covid-19 infections are more likely to present less severe cases of Omicron. The professor added that this may not translate in the same way to countries where most of the population is vaccinated, but few people have been infected with the coronavirus before, TimesLIVE reports.
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Dr Waasila Jassat, a colleague of Prof Cohen at the NICD, said that so far, 83% of the patients who have been hospitalised during the fourth wave have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. Jassat further stated that 87% of Covid-19-related deaths in hospitals during the current wave were people who are not fully vaccinated.
According to the Financial Times, a similar study in Denmark showed that people who have tested positive for Omicron in the last month were three times less likely to require hospitalisation, although the study acknowledged that many people who fall in that category have no comorbidities, which could have affected the results.
South Africa reacts to results of the new study
"78% of the Republic of South Africa’s population had already been infected with Alpha and Delta. They are vaccinated too. Two shots and previous exposure provide great immunity."
"Good news. Get vaccinated."
"Omicron may be our way out of this."
"Lots of people with mild cold symptoms?"
"Finally starting to see some hope and better news."
NICD says Gauteng is the 1st province to achieve 4th wave peak
Previously, Briefly News reported that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported that Gauteng is the first province in South Africa to reach its peak of the fourth wave of Covid-19.
Joe Phaahla, the Minister of Health, said that South Africa has recorded more Covid-19 infections during the current fourth wave than in any of the previous three waves.
The NICD also said that the province is now reporting fewer daily infections than before, which further supports their claim that the peak has been reached.
Source: Briefly News