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Our leaders are living in Wonderland if they think Covid case numbers don’t matter | Adrian Esterman

If the NSW government doesn’t act to reduce transmission, more hospital admissions and deaths are simply inevitable

These are strange times. Over the last few days, we have seen a massive rise in Covid case numbers in New South Wales, going from 482 last Sunday to 2,213 on Friday. For the same period, the effective reproduction number has gone from 1.37 to 2.12, which tells us that case numbers will now double every four days. This increase in case numbers is partially due to increased social gatherings as we approach Christmas, and potentially the impact of the Omicron variant now spreading in NSW.

The Omicron was only declared a variant of concern by WHO on 26 November, yet it is rapidly infecting people around the world, and now accounts for 20% of all cases in the UK. Initial laboratory data shows that this highly mutated variant is about twice as transmissible as the Delta variant, and more easily evades immunity. Current vaccines appear to give lower protection against being infected with Omicron. However, being fully vaccinated does give you some protection against serious illness and death from Omicron. Importantly, we now know that the mRNA boosters, including Pfizer and half-dose Moderna, give well over 70% protection against symptomatic infection by Omicron.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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