Around 400 patients were being hospitalized by Covid during the second wave in January last year
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The number of coronavirus patients being admitted to intensive care has dwindled to as few as 20 a day, it emerged today.
The numbers show how the Omicron strain fails to cause serious illness among most vaccinated people, it was reported.
An Intensive Care National Audit and Research Center study put the number of admissions to ICU of Covid patients at 19 on January 23, according to the Sunday Times.
About 400 people were being admitted daily at the peak of the second wave in January last year, as the vaccination scheme began.
The centre’s top statistician, Professor David Harrison, said the number of admissions at the end of January would still be “in the region of 20 to 30 per day”.
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Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, another statistician, said: “The Omicron wave saw a huge rise in cases, and a moderate rise in hospitalisations, and yet ICU admissions showed no rise whatsoever, and now are rapidly falling.
“Since more than half of ICU admissions have not been vaccinated, this suggests an intrinsically milder virus rather than just increased protection from vaccination.”
It comes as a top number-cruncher today admitted he was “overly optimistic” at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of Cambridge University’s Winton Center for Risk and Evidence Communication confessed he “didn’t take it seriously enough”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs: “I think it’s very important that we have to acknowledge that we can never take an objective view about evidence, we always bring our, I think, personalities into it, and mine is unfortunately very optimistic and that’s why I’m very glad I’m not a Government adviser, I don’t think I’d be very good at it because I do tend to hope for the best and sort of expect the best as well.
“I was terribly over optimistic at the start of the pandemic and didn’t take it seriously enough.”
Sir David also pointed out that lockdown had helped prevent some young people’s deaths.
“The pandemic has been a net life saver for younger people. If you look at people between 15 and 30 in 2020, 300 fewer died than would normally have died – and that includes the 100 that died from Covid, sadly – so that’s 300 fewer families mourning the death of a young person because of the pandemic,” he said.
“That’s because young people were essentially locked up – they couldn’t go out driving fast, they couldn’t go out and get drunk, and they couldn’t get into fights and whatever, and so all these lives were saved.”
But he added there would be a “big increase in mental health problems and so on” because of coronavirus curbs.