Analysis of data from England by the UKHSA released today confirms that the Omicron variant is causing less severe illness than Delta. The new Technical Briefing, number 33, finds that risk of emergency admission to hospital with Omicron compared to Delta was reduced by 62%, confirming earlier results from South Africa, Denmark, Edinburgh and Imperial.
Read the BBC story here.
The briefing also shows that the Omicron household secondary attack rate (the proportion of household contacts an infected person infects) has dropped to 13.1%, meaning nearly 87% of people who live with a person infected with Omicron do not go on to test positive. This compares to a current household secondary attack rate for Delta of 10.1%, so almost the same, differing by only 3%. Note that the direct secondary attack rate for Alpha this time last year was 15.6%, so the claim that Omicron is spreading much faster than previous variants – is much more transmissible – is not supported by this data.
Stop Press: Michael Simmons, a data journalist at the Spectator, has summarised the most recent data about Omicron, nearly all of which makes the case for another lockdown less persuasive.