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COVID-19 Hospitalisations Spike In Europe As Omicron Subvariants Spread: Report

Hospital admissions due to the COVID-19 have significantly spiked in European nations, particularly France and England, a data analysis suggested.

COVID-19

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Europe is witnessing a massive surge in COVID-19 hospitalisations due to the mounting number of cases flared by the Omicron sub-variants. As the pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted worldwide, the recent wave across Europe raises fears of another peak of the COVID-19 as the immunity from the vaccinations among the global population also wanes.

Hospital admissions due to the COVID-19 have significantly spiked in European nations, particularly France and England, a data analysis by Financial Times (FT) revealed on June 17. More than 80% of the new COVID-19 infections in Portugal are being caused by the BA.5 sub-variant of the highly contagious Omicron strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

Omicron subvariant hard to detect as countries worldwide scale back on testing

Health experts on Thursday warned that the new emerging mutations of the coronavirus and spread of the sub-variants may be hard to detect with countries worldwide scaling back on testing and surveillance. This, experts anticipate, might lead to a massive wave later in the year and will likely burden the health care systems. Piotr Kramarz, head of surveillance at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control told the FT newspaper that the highly transmissible Omicron sub-variants such as BA.4 and BA.5 have an element of “immune escape” and therefore it has likely taken over as the dominant strain. 

Over the past 10 days, hospitals in Germany are witnessing high admissions due to COVID-19 infections. The BA.5 cases have nearly doubled to 10%, FT's data analysis from the hospitals have found. For the first time since early April, France's total COVID-19 cases have spiked from 5% to 18%, public health agency Santé Publique France data suggests. In England, at least 639 new COVID-19 cases are being recorded in a day at the hospitals. The Omicron sub-variants are also starting to spread across several cities in the US. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention data suggests that the subvariant cases now constitute more than 20% of all COVID-19 cases. 

As Omicron's subvariants spread at a faster pace, Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva told FT newspaper: “It’s very hard to distinguish whether it is more transmissible or whether it is escaping waning immunity from vaccines." 

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