D.he Robert Koch Institute (RKI) registered 44,927 new corona infections within 24 hours. That’s 11,750 fewer cases than on Thursday a week ago, when 56,677 positive tests were reported. The nationwide seven-day incidence fell from 289.0 the previous day to 280.3. The value indicates how many people per 100,000 inhabitants have been infected with the corona virus in the past seven days.
425 other people died related to the virus. This increases the number of reported deaths within one day to 109,749. In total, more than 6.92 million corona tests have so far been positive in Germany.
Omikron leads to hospital admissions less often
Two studies from Great Britain show that corona infections in the Omikron variant lead to hospitalization less often than in the Delta variant. The preliminary study results published on Wednesday thus confirmed earlier findings from South Africa, where the Omikron variant was first registered. However, experts warned against excessive optimism.
In a study in Scotland, researchers looked at Covid cases recorded in November and December. They compared infections with the Omikron variant with those of the Delta variant. The study found that Omikron reduced the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 by two-thirds compared to Delta, and that a booster vaccination offered significant additional protection against symptomatic illnesses.
The number of cases in the study was small, however, and no people under the age of 60 were hospitalized. However, the authors stated that they compensated for these limitations using statistical methods. Study author Jim McMenamin told journalists that the study results were conditionally “good news” – conditionally because they were early observations that were “statistically significant”.
“The risk of infection is still extremely high”
Another study in England found that Omikron’s total hospital stays decreased by 20 to 25 percent compared to Delta. The number of stays in hospital that lasted a night or more fell by as much as 40 to 45 percent. The Scottish study only looked at stays of at least one night, so this could explain part of the difference found.
Azra Ghani from Imperial College London, who co-authored the English study, said: “The reduced risk of hospitalization with the Omikron variant is reassuring, but the risk of infection remains extremely high.” A booster of the vaccination “continues to offer the best protection.” Infections and hospital stays. “
So far, none of the studies has been independently reviewed. However, the studies are contributing to a growing body of scientific evidence that seems to confirm a less severe course of Omicron infections. It remains unclear, however, whether the lower rate of severe cases observed is due to the characteristics of the omicron variant or whether the disease is milder because it affects populations with greater immunity from previous infections and vaccinations.
Penny Ward, Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine at King’s College London, who was not involved in the studies, said they “did nothing to change the extraordinary spread of this variant in the population.” It is a fact that “even a small proportion of people who have to be treated in hospital for Covid can become a very large number if the number of infections in the population continues to rise.”
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