Number of Serious Cases Rises for First Time in Over a Month

Medical workers wearing protective clothing outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Yerushalayim. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A rise in the number of serious cases of coronavirus has been recorded for the first time in about a month and a half, according to the daily report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center on Sunday.

The number of serious cases in hospital rose from 304 on Thursday to 313 cases on Shabbos and Sunday. The number of patients on ventilators rose overnight from 121 on Motzoei Shabbos to 131 patients as of Sunday morning. The country’s death toll rose to 2,757. The number of hospitalized patients in general also rose over the past week, according to the report.

The increase was reported as the number of daily infections remains high, with 415 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in Israel on Shabbos and 2.8% of tests returning positive, according to a Sunday morning update by the Health Ministry.

The Knowledge Center warned that continuing to relax restrictions without protective measures is expected to accelerate the rate of infection. The center also warned that although progress has been announced concerning vaccines, the vaccinations will likely not significantly affect the outbreak in Israel over the winter, meaning that Israelis still need to be cautious and follow guidelines strictly.

The R number stood at 1.06 as of Sunday morning, according to a Health Ministry report. The R number is the number of people an infected person will infect on average. If it is below 1, the person will infect less than one other person, meaning the outbreak is decreasing. If it is above 1, then the person will infect more than one person and the outbreak is growing.

The warnings from the knowledge center come as the Coronavirus Cabinet is expected to consider returning more students to schools in “green” cities and as malls and business owners demand to be allowed to reopen.