Omicron variant has failed push to delta variant aside

Although the omicron coronavirus variant has become the dominant variant in Belgium, the delta variant of the virus is still very much alive and kicking. Speaking on VRT News’ weekday evening topical discussion programme ‘De Afspraak’ the virologist Professor Marc Van Ranst said while 85% of the coronavirus infections in Belgium are with the omicron variant, the delta variant still accounts for 15% of coronavirus infections here. 

“We see this at our hospital (UZ Leuven). On the ICU wards the roles are reserved. The patients in a critical condition are mostly infected with the delta variant”.

Professor Van Ranst went on to say that he is cautiously optimistic that the first step has been made towards coronavirus becoming a (relatively) harmless virus. However, “We had hoped that the percentage of omicron infections would rise to such a degree that the delta variant would be completely pushed aside. However, it has stuck at around 85%. We have no idea why this is the case. Perhaps there is a subgroup within the delta variant that is more infectious meaning that it is able to compete with omicron”.

The Leuven University (KUL) virologist hopes that the next variant stems from the omicron rather than the delta variant. “There is a big chance that this will be the case, but we’ll just have to wait and see”.  


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