Omicron is milder, studies suggest — but fears remain for NHS as case numbers skyrocket

Omicron is milder, studies suggest — but fears remain for NHS as case numbers skyrocket

Milder illness could still be cancelled out by ‘alarming’ rate of infection, scientists warn

Samuel Lovett
Science Correspondent
Independent
(PA)
The Omicron wave appears to be milder than that of the Delta variant, with those infected 40 to 70 per cent less likely to be admitted to hospital, according to two preliminary studies published on Wednesday.
But scientists warned that the reduction in severity could be cancelled out by the “alarming” rate at which Omicron is spreading, as the number of daily infections soared past 100,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.

The number of daily hospital admissions is also at its highest level since February, fuelling fears the NHS could still be overwhelmed in the coming weeks.

Yet despite calls for No 10 to make clear its plan of action for the New Year, The Independent understands that Boris Johnson has pushed back a decision on whether measures will be needed, and what they make look like, until after Christmas.

Time is running out to act before 2022 arrives – next Wednesday is thought to be the last day MPs can be brought back to pass legislation in time for New Year’s Eve – as Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all announced new restrictions to tackle Omicron.
(Courtesy by Independent)ai/mtvn

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