“Omicron may foreshadow the end of the epidemic phase of the COVID pandemic.” This is the conclusion of a team of South African scientists after analyzing the hospitalizations at the Steve Bilko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.
According to the researchers, the omicron variant spreads remarkably quickly but is a lot less pathogenic.
The number of people admitted to intensive care or who died is noticeably lower than in the delta variant. Therefore, the researchers conclude that omicron may well initiate the endemic phase. At that time, the coronavirus can still flare up regularly, but it no longer causes major problems – a bit comparable to the annual flu season.
Their research found that barely 4.5 percent of all patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 died. In the previous waves, that figure was still 21 percent. In addition, fewer people were admitted to intensive care (1 percent compared to 4.3 percent earlier), and hospitalizations lasted significantly shorter: an average of 4 days compared to 8.8 days in previous waves.
For their study, the scientists examined 466 patients. These were compared with 3,976 patients from previous waves.