Published: 22/12/2021- 17:52
Updated: 22/12/2021- 18:07
Trending on GB News
People who catch the mutant coronavirus variant are less likely to be sent to hospital when compared with the Delta strain, scientists have said.
In a pre-print study published on Wednesday, scientists in the Scotland-wide Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of Covid-19 said that the early data suggested that Omicron is associated with a two-thirds reduction in risk of hospitalisation when compared with the strain which used to be dominant in the country.
Dr Jim McMenamin, the national Covid-19 incident director for Public Health Scotland, labeled the findings a “qualified good news story”, but said that it was “important we don’t get ahead of ourselves”.
“The potentially serious impact of Omicron on a population cannot be underestimated. And a smaller proportion of a much greater number of cases that might ultimately require treatment can still mean a substantial number of people who may experience severe Covid infections that could lead to potential hospitalisation,” he said.
Authors of the paper, which is yet to be peer reviewed, said if the Omicron had been like the Delta variant in Scotland they would have seen around 47 people in hospital suffering from the virus but, so far, there are only 15.
But Prof Mark Woolhouse, of the University of Edinburgh, said it was heavily caveated at the moment. The data is based on a small number of cases and didn’t have much data on those most at risk, the over 65s.
The Omicron strain is now the dominant type of virus in Scotland, with cases of the variant surging across the United Kingdom.