The emergence of the Omicron strain means that the most acute phase of the coronavirus pandemic is nearing its end. This was stated by South African scientists conducting a study at Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria where Omicron was first detected, Bloomberg reported on January 8.
It is noted that the experts analyzed the records of 466 patients who fell ill in the last wave, and the data of 3,976 people who had had the disease earlier. It turned out that the Omicron-induced wave of infections was moving “at an unprecedented rate” but caused milder cases than previous strains.
Doctors found that during the current wave, only 4.5 percent of patients died in hospitals, compared with 21 percent previously. Also, scientists said, fewer people were admitted to intensive care units and their hospital stays decreased from 8.8 days to 4 days.
“If this pattern continues and is repeated worldwide, we are likely to see a complete separation of morbidity and mortality rates,” the researchers said.
Earlier, on Jan. 3, Tira Grove Krause, technical director of the Danish Public Health Authority, said the spread of the Omicron strain COVID-19 could hasten the end of the pandemic. She pointed out that the number of hospitalizations is almost half as high for Omicron as for Delta.