The risks of hospitalization related to covid-19 are 69% lower in those affected with the omicron variant than with delta, Norwegian health authorities said on Wednesday.

"Preliminary data analysis suggests that the risk of hospitalization with coronavirus as the main cause is 69% lower with the omicron variant compared to infections with the delta variant.", details the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) in its weekly report.

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The omicron variant was detected in 32% of people hospitalized with COVID in the first week of 2022 (24 out of 74 patients) compared to 1.7% four weeks earlier (3 out of 175 patients).

However, in the same period, the variant became the majority, currently representing around 90% of new infections.

"The omicron variant has a significantly lower risk than the delta variant of developing a severe form of the disease in infected people, at least in vaccinated people", the FHI noted in another risk assessment report.

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However, the institute expects a winter wave that will put pressure on the health service. From January to March, "several hundred thousand" people should be infected according to their projections, with daily peaks of up to 50,000 cases.

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