At the time of writing, Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are thought to be taking over in Australia. As they are more contagious, we are seeing a significant wave of infections such that Australia has one of the highest infection rates in the world.
While we are reaping the benefits of high vaccination rates with lower risks of hospitalisation and deaths, we are nonetheless seeing high absolute numbers of deaths at an average of around 40 per day which amounts to a Boeing 737 jet crash every week.
We don’t know much about these people and how they’ve been managed, but in theory this death rate could be cut drastically if COVID antivirals were given to as many eligible patients as possible, promptly after symptoms arise.
Good news about Long COVID
Data from the UK Office of National Statistics has shown that in people who are triple vaccinated the risk of prolonged COVID symptoms after four weeks drops from around 30% to 9%. But when here are a lot of infections, that still amounts to many people. In the UK, this equates to nearly 2 million and around 6% say it’s significantly affecting their lives.