Prof Ivica Luksic of Dubrava Hospital: Omicron Changing Course of Pandemic

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the wave of the epidemic caused by the Omicron variant is still resulting in a large number of new infections, but there are indications that something is changing in the course of the epidemic.

“Over more recent days, we’ve had a continuous number of patients. We aren’t experiencing significant growth, but we don’t have a continuation of decline either. At KB Dubrava, we have about 70-80 coronavirus patients and about 20 of them are in the intensive care unit,” said Prof Ivica Luksic, the director of the Dubrava Clinical Hospital, for Dnevnik.

He pointed out that apparently something in the course of the coronavirus pandemic is indeed changing.

“We have an enormous increase in new infections, but fortunately it is not accompanied by an increase in patients. Obviously, Omicron has changed the course of the pandemic, and we’re adapting to these new circumstances within the hospital system,” he said.

Regarding the age structure of patients requiring hospital treatment for their more severe clinical pictures, Prof Ivica Luksic said that the patients who are hospitalised are mostly older people and those who are unvaccinated.

“In the fourth wave of the pandemic, there was an increase in younger patients, those who were unvaccinated, and now we’re returning to the situation in which we mainly have older people needing treatment,” Prof Ivica Luksic said.

Asked if he could confirm that Omicron is mostly retained in the upper respiratory tract and doesn’t descend further down into the lungs, Prof Ivica Luksic said it was too early for more serious conclusions to be firmly made, but that according to the clinical pictures of some of the first hospitalised Omicron patients, it does appear milder than it was before.

“You could say it’s going in the direction that the upper respiratory system is affected more often,” he said.

Asked if Omicron was the beginning of the end, Luksic said that its emergence has accelerated some things in any case.

“It’s to be hoped that Omicron may have accelerated the end or indeed be end of the pandemic and the transition to the endemic phase of the disease,” responded Luksic, emphasising the continued importance of vaccination.

“There are currently no patients who have received two doses of the vaccine or received a booster among those admitted to hospital,” he told HRT.

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