The NHS may avoid being overwhelmed by omicron, with the UK’s surge reflecting the experience in South Africa, early figures suggest.
Analysis by The Telegraph of Britain’s outbreak hotspot of the new variant reveals that the spike in cases is not being followed by a comparable rise in hospital admissions.
According to data collected by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, South Northamptonshire was one of the first areas to suffer a cluster of cases, with more than 926 cases per 100,000 people – the highest in the country.
However, the hospital admission rate at the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust is not experiencing a similar surge.
As of December 12, its rolling admissions rate was steady at about 11 per cent of the January peak, broadly matching those trends of high cases but lower admissions seen in South Africa.
The area is helped by very high vaccination rates – 83 per cent of people have had a second jab and 50 per cent have had a booster, compared to the national average of 40 per cent.
Vaccination rates are particularly high amongst the over-60s, the most susceptible to serious illness, with over 90 per cent boosted.
However, despite this advantage, it is notable that while South Northamptonshire has seen case rates reach record levels amongst the younger adults, they have actually started to decline amongst the over-60s.