1,999 New Daily Coronavirus Cases, Contagion Rate Falls

Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at Leumit Health Care Services branch in Or Yehuda, on July 14. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Israel had 1,999 new daily coronavirus cases on Monday with the contagion rate falling slightly below 8%, health officials reported Tuesday.

The Coronavirus National Knowledge and Information Center said that after conducting 25,231 tests on Monday, the infection rate now stands at 7.9%.

There are 315 patients hospitalized in a serious condition and the death toll from the virus-related complications has increased to 474.

The daily fatality rate has also declined, after hitting a record high of 14 coronavirus-related deaths last Thursday.

On Sunday, 11 coronavirus deaths were recorded, with the number dropping to two deaths on Monday, the lowest number in a 24-hour period since July 5.

The increase in cases has caused an increasing number of hospitals to report their coronavirus wards were full to capacity and were unable to receive new patients. Since the beginning of the week, four hospitals have already exceeded 100% capacity resulting in the need to transfer patients to hospitals in the center of the country.

In efforts to help solve the problem of overcrowding in hospitals the Health Ministry began implementing an early release of patients suffering from mild symptoms of coronavirus and the transfer of elderly patients to geriatric care facilities for treatment, but the rapid increase in cases continued and coronavirus wards did not see any relief.

Professor Ronni Gamzu, recently appointed to head the coronavirus response team, said the problem was not only lack of physical space and beds but also a shortage of trained medical staff able to treat the growing number of patients.

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