Omicron spreading fast in Kerala, but vaccine immunity reduces severity

Omicron less severe as it does not enter lungs. It stays in throat, nose and airways and so, does not cause pneumonia, say docs

Published: 28th January 2022 06:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2022 09:24 AM   |  A+A-

Sample collection for Covid-19 testing, in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

Sample collection for Covid-19 testing (Representational Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The pace of Covid spread, especially the Omicron variant, has worried citizens and authorities alike.

However, the fact that use of ICUs and ventilators has not risen in the third wave like last year, even though people are getting admitted to hospitals, is something of a relief. 

A comparison of severe hospital admissions, when the state’s active caseload crossed 3 lakh during the peak of the second wave in May 2021 and now, found that ICU and ventilator use this time dropped by 70 and 80 per cent, respectively.

The reduction in severity is on expected lines as health experts say the prevailing situation is far from alarming.

They attribute the low prevalence of severity to the improved immunity through vaccination, infection and booster doses.

“The Omicron variant spread at a time when the population had built a strong immunity. The Covid variant has low pathogenicity (the property of causing disease) despite it being hyper mutant and hyper transmissible variant,” said Dr A Fathahudeen, head of the department of pulmonary and critical care and the nodal officer for Covid in Ernakulam MCH. 

“Omicron does not enter the lungs. instead, it stays in the throat, nose and airways. So, it will not cause pneumonia. This is why its infection is not getting severe,” he said.

However, Omicron may still pose danger to patients with severe comorbidities, those who are unvaccinated and those suffering from other immunocompromised conditions. 

Data from the health department shows only over 11,100 people who form just 3.6 per cent of total active caseload are admitted in various hospitals, government or private.

Also, most of the patients admitted with severe infections are those who delayed hospital admission.

There were 11 deaths reported on Thursday. Officials of the department said most of the deceased were those with comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension.

Health experts have also mooted the creation of an admission protocol to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations.

“Several people having mild symptoms get admitted to hospital out of panic. Such instances will not only waste resources, but cause more panic. No admission protocols are being observed as everyone  wants to play it safe and avoid controversies,” said a doctor with Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital on conditions of anonymity.  

The state has given the first dose of vaccine to all targeted eligible population while 84 per cent received the second dose by January 25.

Similarly, 69 per cent of kids in the 15-17 age group have got the first dose so far. 


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp