The risk of reinfecting covid with Omicron is 16 times higher than with Delta – OI Canadian

Omicron is the dominant variant of the coronavirus and the risk of reinfection was 16 times higher than the Delta variant.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Omicron is the dominant variant of the coronavirus and the risk of reinfection was 16 times higher than the Delta variant. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The latest COVID-19 data from the UK Office for National Statistics show that the rate of all reinfections has increased since the beginning of December 2021, probably fueled by the rapid spread of the new strain.

Between December 20, 2021 and January 9, 2022, Omicron was the dominant variant of the coronavirus and the risk of reinfection was 16 times higher compared to the seven-month period from May 17 to December 19, 2021 when Delta was the main variant, the ONS said.

The finding comes weeks after the first real-world study of Omicron’s effect suggested it has a “substantial” ability to evade immunity from prior COVID infection.

During the six months from July 2, 2020 to January 9, 2022, people who were not vaccinated were twice as likely to be reinfected as people who received their second vaccine 14 to 89 days agosuggested the latest ONS analysis.

A positive test for the Omicron variant.  REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
A positive test for the Omicron variant. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

While the incredibly rapid spread of the Omicron variant has led to surges in mortality, emerging data, including from countries with low vaccination coverage, indicate that the Omicron wave is less lethal than the previous ones.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 15.3 million cases of covid-19 in the UK, of which 152,513 have been fatal.

But the European country hopes that with the vaccination reinforcement programs they can increase immunity levels against the most infectious variant of COVID-19 so far.

The country’s efforts are focused on this, which is why Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that at the end of January he will lift several of the restrictions that were introduced at Christmas when there was a new peak in infections due to the Omicron variant.

The current rules which include guidance on working from home, COVID passes and mandatory masks in stores and on public transport, will expire on January 26.

The PM could reportedly choose to keep the mask-wearing requirement while removing work-from-home guidance and COVID passes.

The Omicron variant is causing COVID-19 infections to rise around the world at a dizzying rate.  REUTERS/Angela Ponce
The Omicron variant is causing COVID-19 infections to rise around the world at a dizzying rate. REUTERS/Angela Ponce

In addition, Scotland will remove all its Omicron coronavirus restrictions from next Monday, Nicola Sturgeon announced Tuesday.

The changes will see nightclubs reopen, the requirement for table service in hospitality come to an end, and attendance limits at indoor events will be lifted.

However, while in Europe some countries are evaluating whether they have passed the peak of Omicron infections, in Latin America this peak is still rising, with several countries such as Colombia, Chile or Argentina, reporting maximum cases in recent statistics.

In a region where the Delta variant did not seem to have a major impact, Omicron’s high infection rate has again opened the debate on whether or not to maintain certain restrictions.

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