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How different is the Omicron compared to the Delta Covid-19 strain and will it affect the UAE real estate market?

Ellington Properties Dubai

With Omicron cases increasing sharply, many people are wondering how it is different from the Delta strain. If you are in UAE, you may be also wondering how the Omicron variant will affect the real estate market.

This post aims to answer both questions. So, keep on reading.

How is Omicron different from the Delta Strain?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Omicron and Delta as ‘variants of concerns.’ But many experts point out there are notable differences.

Omicron might be less likely to lead to loss of taste and smell

Loss of smell and taste were common signs of the Delta variant. However, these symptoms are not so prevalent in patients with Omicron. According to a recent study published by the US government, 48% of patients infected with the Delta variant suffered a loss of smell and taste. In contrast, another study done in Norway reported that only 12% of Omicron patients suffered a loss of smell and 23% of them reported a loss of taste. As to why this difference exists, there’s no clear-cut answer. Some say the difference is because of the nature of Omicron, while others believe this might be due to other factors such as the vaccination status.

Omicron is less likely to cause breathlessness

Delta variants caused breathlessness in a large number of people, even those who were vaccinated. Omicron, however, is not likely to have a similar effect and many doctors and scientists around the world hold this view. They reason since Omicron multiplies in the throat — not in the respiratory system as Delta does — it might not cause breathlessness. According to another recent study, Omicron is unable to hold onto a key protein in the lung’s surface, and, because of this, it doesn’t infect the lung cells as severely as Delta.

Consequently, it is not surprising that there is a growing consensus among experts that the new variant’s effect on the lungs is likely to be minimal. This is great news for all of us. Because it means, unlike the Delta variants, in which a large percentage of the patients developed pneumonia and needed hospitalization, Omicron is likely to lead to fewer hospitalizations.

A Danish study backs this theory. It reported that the risk of hospitalization from Omicron is half of that of Delta. This, while heartening, doesn’t mean we should let our guard down. Omicron is highly transmittable and hence each one of us should be on the top of their game when it comes to abiding by the latest Covid-19 prevention guidelines.  

Omicron might cause gastrointestinal issues and nausea more often

Omicron can infect some cells in a person’s gastrointestinal tract. That’s why Omicron-infected patients may frequently experience gastrointestinal issues and nausea. The Delta variant, by contrast, generally doesn’t trigger such symptoms.

The incubation period of Omicron is shorter

Compared to Delta, Omicron has a shorter incubation period. After being exposed to it, a person can develop symptoms, test positive, and become contagious in just 3 days. The Delta variant, on the other hand, has a 4 to 6-day window period, as did other previous variants. The shorter incubation period of Omicron is one of the reasons behind its rapid spread. 

Omicron is more contagious than Delta

According to research by French scientists, the Omicron variant might be 105% more transmissible than Delta. Compared with the latter, it is understood to be far more effective at circumventing vaccinated people’s immunity.  

Will Omicron impact the UAE real estate market?

Will Omicron spoil the part for UAE’s real estate sector? This is the question many have on top of their mind. The UAE real estate sector bounced back nicely in the last several months, but some are worried that this uptrend might get derailed.

Fortunately, that’s not going to happen. Here are the main reasons why Omicron is not going to negatively affect the UAE’s real estate sector:

  • The majority of the adult population in UAE is fully vaccinated
  • Data suggests Omicron is far less dangerous than the Delta strain
  • The government is not likely to impose new restrictions and the chances of a lockdown are very low
  • There’s no indication that there is going to be any sort of ban on international passenger flights
  • The UAE has managed the Covid-19 pandemic very well so far
  • The UAE has a robust health care system

All the same, it’s important that we continue to follow the latest Covid-19 guidelines. These include, getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, coughing and sneezing safely, and washing our hands regularly.


 

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