The first major study of the Omicron COVID variant, conducted by Professor Robert Dingwall from Nottingham Trent University in Britain, has concluded that it is no worse than the flu or cold.
The National Post reports that Dingwall, who also works as a senior advisor for the British government, studied over 98,000 Omicron cases in South Africa.
He found that hospitalizations from Omicron were 29% lower than the original Wuhan strain.
And when comparing Omicron to the more recent Delta variant, hospitalizations were 23% lower and ICU admissions for Omicron were 5% compared to 22% for Delta.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Dingwall said:
“My gut feeling is that Omicron is very much like the sort of flu pandemic we planned for — a lot of sickness absence from work in a short period, which will create difficulties for public services and economic activity, but not of such a severity as to be a big problem for the NHS and the funeral business.”
Dingwall went on to describe the panic in the West surrounding Omicron as ‘absurd,’ as doctors are already noticing that cases are not as serious.
READ: Omicron may be no worse than flu and panic is unjustified, U.K. government told
Others, including WHO, have made similar statements. READ: Don’t panic, most early Omicron cases are mild, WHO says
Yes, there will undoubtedly be deaths from Omicron, as there, unfortunately, is during the flu season.