Published on Wednesday, the study carried out by researchers at Imperial College London seems to indicate that people infected with the Omicron variant run an average risk of going to the hospital, all durations combined, from 15% to 20% less than that of people infected with the Delta variant.
The risk of being hospitalized for one night or more is 40% to 45% lower.
The trends detected do not mean that the Omicron wave will not overload hospitals, however, qualify the researchers.
Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron virus, healthcare services may face increasing demand if Omicron cases continue to grow at the rate seen in recent weeks., warns Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis and the Jameel Institute at Imperial College.
While the reduction in the risk of hospitalization with the Omicron variant is reassuring, the risk of infection remains extremely high., adds her fellow epidemiologist Azra Ghani, associate director of the MRC.
Their study is based on all PCR (or molecular) tests that were positive in England between December 1 and 14, ie 56,000 cases of Omicron and 269,000 cases of Delta.