"Omicron to be dominant in Belgium in the Christmas weekend, but 50 percent less severe"

The renowned Flemish virologist Steven Van Gucht told the weekly Covid press conference of the National Crisis Centre that omicron infections seem to be milder: "Maybe 50 percent less hospitalisations". This is good news, because omicron is taking over from the delta corona variant at a fast pace.

Omicron was responsible for 41 percent of the new corona cases yesterday. One week ago, this was only 6 percent. Omicron will take over as the dominant player in the coming days as delta is losing ground rapidly, said Mr Van Gucht. 

The big questions remains how dangerous omicron is. Several early data have come in from South Africa, the United Kingdom and Denmark. They all suggest that omicron is more contagious but less dangerous, triggering milder symptoms and fewer hospitalisations. 

Can we put a figure on this reduction in hospitalisations already? "We are seeing estimations ranging between 80 and 30 percent fewer hospital admissions. Let's cut this in half and stick with 50 percent less for the moment, as we are waiting for more data." 

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