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Omicron variant less likely to land people in hospital – HSA

The UK Health Security Agency said on Thursday that early findings had shown that people with Omicron were 50% to 70% less likely to need hospital care compared with previous variants of the coronavirus.
However, the agency also warned that Omicron is more transmissible than previous variants such as Delta, and could still lead to significant numbers of people requiring hospital treatment in the coming weeks.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the data was “promising” but called on the public to remain cautious over the Christmas holidays.

Analysis from the HSA was based on all cases of Omicron and Delta in the UK since the beginning of November. This includes 132 people admitted to hospital with the Omicron variant.

Earlier in the day, Javid confirmed there would be no further restrictions before Christmas and said there were no plans for any announcements on post-Christmas cubs this week.

“We’re clear that there’s no need for any further restrictions of any type before Christmas but of course we will keep the situation under review,” Javid said, adding that there would be no post-Christmas restrictions announced this week.

Javid said people “should enjoy their Christmases with their families and their friends” but “of course, remain cautious”.

He said the situation would be kept under review as the government continues to learn more from “new data”.

“We will keep analysing that data and if we need to do anything more we will, but nothing more is going to happen before Christmas,” he said.

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