Coronavirus in Poland. Variant of omicron. Professor Maciej Banach comments

The omicron variant may be responsible for up to a dozen percent of coronavirus infections in Poland, says a cardiologist, lipidologist, epidemiologist of heart and vascular diseases, Professor Maciej Banach from the Medical University of Lodz. As he warns, the daily number of infections in Poland may soon reach 100,000.

According to the scientist, the omicron variant, which appeared in November last year, will soon dominate in Poland in terms of the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections. – There is no doubt about that. Examples of other countries in Western Europe and the development of the pandemic in the United States show this, where the omicron is responsible for 95 percent of infections, he emphasized.

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He noted that “over half a million infections a day are registered in the United States, almost 200,000 infections in the United Kingdom and France, and over 100,000 coronavirus infections a day in Spain and Italy, with the dominant omicron variant.”

Banach: soon in Poland, the daily number of infections may reach 100,000

– In Poland, it can be assumed, when estimating the infectivity of the omicron, that even a few to several percent of patients with COVID-19 have already contracted the coronavirus in the omicron variant – assessed Prof. Banach. According to him, in the coming weeks it will definitely displace the delta variant. – Unfortunately, we still do very few tests, only 2 tests per 1000 inhabitants, and we sequence less than 1 percent, hence it is difficult to estimate the real percentage of this variant in the population – he explained.

– Soon there will be a wave of infections in Poland, where the number of infections, mainly with omicrons, may reach up to 100,000 cases a day – he warned. – And this version of the pathogen is several dozen times more contagious – he reminded. In his opinion, “100,000 cases of coronavirus infection in the omicron version per day may be the problem that will affect us at the turn of January and February this year”.

Good news and bad news

The professor emphasizes that when it comes to the omicron variant, there are two pieces of news – one good, the other bad. – The most reliable scientific data published today based on research in southern Africa – where the omicron came from – shows that compared to the third wave and the delta pathogen, about 20 percent fewer cases with severe COVID are admitted to emergency departments after infection with the omicron variant – 19 – he explained. – Much fewer people – even several times – have acute respiratory failure, require oxygen therapy, the use of a respirator. Fewer people die. This is good news – added the scientist.

Soon there will be a wave of infections in Poland, where the number of infections, mainly with omicrons, may reach even 100,000 cases a day. And this version of the pathogen is dozens of times more contagious.

The bad news – he emphasized – is the enormous transmission force of the omicron – even several dozen times greater than in the case of the delta. The statistical characteristics of severely ill patients are also worrying. – The average age of a patient hospitalized after delta coronavirus infection is 59 years. The average age of people infected with the omicron going to hospitals is 36, he said.

– It’s good that they are young people, because there is a lower risk of a severe course of COVID-19, but it is bad, because only twenty, thirty, forty-year-olds get vaccinated the least often. This is a group of people whose average vaccination level is far insufficient to maintain population safety, ”Banach pointed out.

“Polish hospitals are not prepared” for the omicron offensive

– Studies show that after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the omicron often hurts the throat because the upper respiratory tract is attacked, and less often the patient has symptoms related to bronchial and pulmonary problems – explained the professor. – However, if we take the scale of infectivity, i.e. even 100,000 infections with omicrons a day, even with a milder course of COVID-19, but with only 19 percent of Poles fully vaccinated with three doses, I am afraid that the number of hospitalizations, respirators used and the number of deaths will be appalling, he said.

In his opinion, “Polish hospitals are not prepared for this”. – I am not convinced by the assurances that 50,000 hospital places for patients with COVID-19 can be prepared, because these beds require doctors, nurses and other medical personnel – Professor Banach pointed out. – Even if there are so many medics, they will have to leave the beds of other patients, including the so-called cardiovascular and cancer patients, as well as other chronic diseases – argued the cardiologist.

In his opinion, “due to the anticipated effects of omicron infections, the rulers should analyze the introduction of additional restrictions as soon as possible.”

Main photo source: concrete24

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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