Omicron: “We are faced with a variant that is 50 to 80% less severe”

Published by Cécile D. · Published on 5 January 2022 at 11h39
The Omicron variant could be a milestone in the evolution of the pandemic: although very contagious, it is said to be “50 to 80% less severe”, according to Scientific Committee member Pr. Yazdan Yazdanpanah.

Is this the sign the Covid-19 epidemic could end soon? The Omicron variant is very different from the previous ones, its actions leading scientists to think the pandemic could be finally under control very soon, and then stopped. But, Omicron is extremely contagious: during the Holidays, the number of people who tested positive to the virus broke records. And yet, this version of the virus is not very dangerous. According to Scientific Committee member Pr. Yazdan Yazdanpanah, this variant is even “50 to 80% less severe”.

Invited this Sunday January 2, 2022, on BFMTV, the scientists guaranteed the new measures instated by the government are legit given the current health situation. “We are faced with elements completely different from those before, we need to adapt”, the expert said.

Yazdan Yazdanpanah also considers isolation rules implemented at the beginning of January are fitting the evolution of the epidemic: “We don’t do this only for economical reasons or absenteeism. We also do it because we are faced with a variant that we now know is less severe than the previous variants: 50 to 80% less severe. We are faced with a variant which duration before the onset of symptoms moved from five to three days. We are faced with a population, if those over 12 years of age are included, which 90% have been given two doses of vaccine”, the scientist goes on.

The Scientific Committee member also approves the new draft of the health protocol in schools. He says frequent tests for children are important to be able to quickly isolate contagious children and limit the spread of the virus.

This new protocol involves three tests (a PCR or antigen, then two self-tests) on each child, as soon as a Covid-19 case is reported in a classroom. A measure seen excessive by some families and union trades anticipating a harsh second semester: “we’ll spend our times checking who’s got their test. […] It will be very complicated”, they said angry on France Info.

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