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“We can’t be complacent” – Dr Fauci

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US top infectious disease expert and President Biden’s chief medical adviser, says there is no room for complacency over the Omicron variant, despite growing evidence that it usually leads to milder symptoms than other strains of covid-19.

Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Dr Fauci said: “There are certainly going to be a lot more cases, because this is a much more transmissible virus than Delta is, so quantitatively alone, even if you have a virus that looks in fact like it might be less severe […], the only difficulty is that we have so many, many cases that even if the rate of hospitalizations is lower with Omicron than it is with Delta, there’s still the danger that you’re going to have a surging of hospitalizations that might stress the healthcare system.”

He added: “You have a virus that might actually be less severe in its pathogenicity, but so many people are getting infected that the total amount of people that will require hospitalization might be up. So we can’t be complacent […]. We’re still going to get a lot of hospitalizations.”