The mortality from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is roughly five to ten times lower than from other variants, Alexander Lukashev, director of the Sechenov University’s Institute for Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Transmissible Diseases, said on Friday, APA reports.
"Indeed, it is less lethal. It is difficult to cite an exact figure, but I think that a rough estimate of five to ten times would be right. <…> Actually, the mortality is five to ten times lower than that of the original strains," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
According to the expert, the milder form of the disease typically caused by Omicron can be explained by the fact that the virus replicates in the upper respiratory airways and reaches the lungs only in rare cases. Apart from that, many people have already developed immunity to Covid, he added.
On November 26, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the B.1.1.529 variant identified in South Africa as a "Variant of Concern" and assigned it the Greek letter omicron. In its statement, the WHO noted that "this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning."
According to the latest statistics of the Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center, the share of the Delta variant among new cases has dropped to 52.3% on Friday from 56.2% on the previous day, whereas the share of Omicron and other strains has increased to 47.7% Omicron has been identified in 52 Russian regions.