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12月8日のまにら新聞から

Duque says evidence so far shows Omicron causes mild COVID-19

[ 527 words|2021.12.8|英字 (English) ]

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said scientific evidence so far shows that the Omicron variant only causes mild COVID-19 infection.

This was reported by Duque during the public address with President Rodrigo Duterte which aired on Tuesday morning.

"Earlier I talked with World Health Organization Country Representative Dr. Rabi Abeyasinghe. He said three things number one, more evidence shows that Omicron is mild, which is good for all of us. Number two, there is no reported death," he said.

Duque agrees with the report made by Father Nicanor Austriaco, a molecular biologist, the possibility that Omicron is a highly transmissible kind of COVID-19 variant.

"Although earlier Father Austriaco already mentioned about the possibility that this is highly transmissible it is right but to what extent, we do not yet have clear or conclusive to make sure that it is really transmissible," he said.

"In fact, even the R0 or the reproductive rate of the Omicron variant continues to elude, we cannot tell yet. So we still have to wait for sometime," he added.

Prior to his Talk To The People on Monday night, Austriaco said data from South Africa shows the new COVID-19 variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant.

"What you can see is that the Delta wave had a 9 percent relative risk and we can see that the Omicron wave is three times higher than the Delta wave. So it is true that the preliminary data coming from South Africa suggests that the Omicron variant is more transmissible amongst vaccinated individuals," he said.

Austriaco said based on the "presentation from the Department of Health in South Africa, from the province of Gauteng, which is the hotspot for the Omicron explosion that is currently taking place" most patients who are hospitalized are unvaccinated.

"What you can see is that the preliminary data suggests that 10 times more unvaccinated individuals are being hospitalized as compared to vaccinated individuals," he said.

"This is incredibly hopeful especially since as I highlighted before, because of the NCR Plus 8 strategy, our cities and first class municipalities, which is the target for Omicron when it arrives in the Philippines, are highly vaccinated," he added.

Austriaco said initial data also suggests that the Omicron variant is "less deadly than the Delta variant."

"I have to point out that this is preliminary data and we are waiting for data from the older populations in the global north because there are not many grandparents in South Africa. And so most of the patients that we are seeing in the hospitals of South Africa are relatively young," he said.

"We still do not know what will happen whenOmicron begins to spread in the northern part of the world where more of the population are older. I also have to point out that hospitalizations are a lagging indicator," Austriaco said.

"It usually takes a week or two weeks after a surge to see the hospitalizations. But the data from South Africa is very hopeful, especially since they have already been dealing with the surge for at least a week or two and the hospitalizations do not seem to be dramatically increasing," he added. Robina Asido/DMS