Lutsar: Omicron variant could have positive effects
Omicron appears to be milder than the Delta COVID-19 strain, if it becomes the dominant variant it could have a positive effect, the head of the government's scientific advisory council has said.
Professor Irja Lutsar said on Tuesday: "The question is whether Omicron will become the predominant strain or whether a combination of Omicron and Delta will spread - we will see, but it is likely that the Omicron strain will take over a big part."
Data from South Africa shows people in hospital are much less likely to need controlled breathing, oxygen therapy and lung ventilation.
Lutsar said it could be considered a positive thing if the strain becomes the dominant variant in Estonia if this continues. However, she said there is too little evidence to fully support this view yet.
Talking about current infection trends, she said only a few vaccinated people are experiencing harsh cases of coronavirus and are being treated in hospital.
The professor said the current situation is good but it cannot be assumed the virus will disappear completely.
She said the situation is satisfactory if between 400-600 new cases are diagnosed each day and fewer than 200 people are being treated in hospital.
There are currently 286 patients hospitalized with coronavirus in Estonia.
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Editor: Helen Wright