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COVID-19 STATS

Danish study concludes ’36 percent’ lower risk of Covid-19 hospitalisation with Omicron variant

A study conducted by researchers in Denmark has concluded that the risk of hospitalisation is lower with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 compared to the Delta variant.

SSI medical director Tyra Grove Krause said the findings of a Danish study that the Omicron variant represents a reduced risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19 was positive news.
SSI medical director Tyra Grove Krause said the findings of a Danish study that the Omicron variant represents a reduced risk of hospitalisation with Covid-19 was positive news. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The results of the study were announced by the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) in a statement.

The study is in pre-print form, meaning it is yet to undergo peer review.

It nevertheless represents positive news in the battle to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to SSI’s medical director Tyra Grove Krause.

A lower risk of hospitalisation is seen “in both vaccinated and unvaccinated” individuals, Krause said.

“That’s a sign Omicron is less dangerous than Delta in itself,” she said.

“Furthermore, we can see during the period covered by the study that vaccination can prevent three out of four hospital admissions – both Omicron and Delta-related – in people who test positive (for Covid-19),” she added.

The number of positive tests registered each day in Denmark is currently higher than at any other time during the pandemic, with over 39,000 registered on Wednesday and the total topping 40,000 for the first time on Thursday according to SSI’s most recent update.

Last winter, the daily figure did not exceed 5,000 at any time and only exceeded 4,000 on a handful of occasions.

But the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 stands at 825 on Thursday, a lower number than the highest number during the 2020/21 winter, which was 964 on January 4th last year.

Around 190,000 people who tested positive for Covid-19 between November 21st and December 19th 2021 are included in the study.

The analysis looked at how many were admitted to hospital with the virus and which variant they were infected with.

Around 39,000 were infected with the Omicron variant, with the remainder considered to have been infected with Delta, which was the dominant form in Denmark at the time.

Of those who were infected with the Omicron variant, 222 or around 0.6 percent were admitted to hospital. For those with Delta, 2,213 or around 1.5 percent were hospitalised.

When other factors including sex, age and underlying conditions are corrected for, researchers found that the risk of hospitalisation was 36 percent lower with Omicron.

The study does not take into account the severity of the illness of those who were admitted to hospital with either variant.

“But several studies from abroad suggest that Omicron is also associated with a more mild illness, based on shorter hospital stays and lower risk of intensive care and death in relation to data,” Krause said.

READ ALSO: The Covid-19 restrictions now in effect in Denmark

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COVID-19 STATS

Covid-19: Virus remains on downward trend in Denmark in latest report

The number of Covid-19 infections in Denmark is still declining, as has been the trend for some weeks.

Covid-19: Virus remains on downward trend in Denmark in latest report

In addition to confirmed cases, the number of PCR tests administered to check for the virus is also falling. Authorities recently announced that PCR testing capacity would be halved, before a strategy for testing next winter is announced later this year.

The continued falloff in cases was one of the trends noted in a new report from the infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI). The report is based on data from the most recent week.

During the period covered by the report, the number of new cases of Covid-19 fell by 18 percent, meaning 82 in 100,000 residents of Denmark tested positive for Covid-19.

The number of PCR tests fell by 14 percent during the same period, with around 7,000 tests administered each day.

“Transmission in the community is falling in general and across all age groups,” SSI medical head of department Rebecca Legarth told news wire Ritzau.

The decline in number of new recorded cases may be linked to the reduction in recorded number of hospital patients with a positive Covid test.

Last week saw the number of hospitalised people with Covid-19 fall by 23 percent. Not all people in hospital who have the virus are being treated for it, with their hospitalisation being for other reasons in many cases.

Denmark ended its Covid-19 restrictions in February and March, while health authorities also changed recommendations on when a PCR test should be taken.

In March, the Danish Health Authority changed its recommendations on when people with suspected Covid-19 should be tested for the coronavirus, with testing now only recommended if there is a “special medical reason” for doing so.

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