Omicron not more dangerous than Delta but more contagious
According to Gintsburg, the number of coronavirus cases “may be very high” because the Omicron strain spreads in the population much faster, especially among those unvaccinated
Alexander Gintsburg, the director of the Gamaleya Center
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is no more dangerous that the Delta strain but it spreads faster in the population, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Center, said on Thursday.
“To date, according to the preliminary data we have, we cannot say that the Omicron strain is more dangerous or more virulent [than the Delta strain] by any parameters. It is another matter that it is more communicable, i.e. it spreads in the population much faster,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
According to Gintsburg, the number of coronavirus cases “may be very high” because the Omicron strain spreads in the population much faster, especially among those unvaccinated. “And the public health system will no loner be able to cope with the situation, with all consequences for those infected and hospitals,” he noted.
He said that the existing coronavirus vaccine will need modification when “there are people suffering from Omicron.” “Now, laboratory data indicates that there is no need in it,” he stressed.
According to the latest statistics, around 277.2 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 5.3 million deaths have been reported.
To date, 10,318,650 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 9,139,166 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 301,271 fatalities nationwide. The Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.