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Severity (acute-care hospitalization), criticality (ICU hospitalization), and fatality of SARS-CoV-2 Beta (B.1.351) variant was investigated through case-control studies applied to complete national cohorts of infection, disease, and death cases in Qatar. Compared to Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant, odds of progressing to severe disease were 1.24-fold (95% CI: 1.11-1.39) higher for Beta. Odds of progressing to critical disease were 1.49-fold (95% CI: 1.13-1.97) higher. Odds of COVID-19 death were 1.57-fold (95% CI: 1.03-2.43) higher. Findings highlight risks to healthcare systems, particularly to intensive care facilities and resources, with increased circulation of Beta.

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