New Omicron Variant Not As Severe As Initially Thought: 'Signals Are Bit Encouraging'
The new Omicron variant, first discovered in South Africa last month, may cause less serious illness than other COVID-19 strains, preliminary data showed.
A report published Saturday by the South African Medical Research Council suggested that the Omicron strain spreads rapidly but is less likely to be as dangerous as the Delta variant. The report also said that many of the recent admissions with COVID-19 involved the younger population.
"In the last two weeks, no fewer than 80% of admissions were below the age of 50 years. This is in keeping with the age profile of admissions in all public and private hospitals in Tshwane and throughout the Gauteng Province in the last two weeks ... Nineteen (19) percent were children aged 0-9 years and the highest number of admissions was in the age group 30-39 years, making up 28 percent of the total," the report stated.