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Gauteng #Omicron update – 8 December:
The load on hospitals is significantly lower compared to Delta, and with a peak imminent, hospitals will not be overloaded at all.
No restrictions are needed to help hospitals in any way.
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The total number of patients in hospital is well below the Delta wave.
Since a peak in hospital numbers is expected in 12-22 days, this variable is not a concern anymore.
data source: NICD
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The portion of hospital patients ending up in ICU is much lower (10%) compared to Delta (24%).
Considering that a significant portion of patients in hospital have not been infected before, or are not vaccinated, #Omicron must be significantly less virulent.
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The portion of hospital patients ending up on ventilators is even lower (3-4%) compared to Delta (10%).
Note that the ratios for Delta were similar for Beta and the wild type virus. #Omicron is the first variant with such a dramatic drop in disease severity.
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There are additional factors such as lower ages of admissions that also reduce disease severity, but age alone cannot explain the significant drop.
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Countries are quick to implement travel bans, but take months to lift them.
Every vulnerable person infected with Delta before Omicron has a higher mortality risk, even if fully vaccinated.
Since we have leaky vaccines, a certain level of infections are inevitable.