Fourth Day Running: Over 5,500 New Cases in Israel; Over 10% Vaccinated

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israelis wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, at a vaccination center operated by the Tel Aviv Municipality with Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Thursday. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Health Ministry Friday recorded over 5,500 new daily coronavirus cases for the fourth day in a row diagnosed a day earlier.

According to updated figures from the Health Ministry, 5,804 people received a positive coronavirus diagnosis in the last 24 hours, out of 102,860 tests conducted. As such, the positivity rate for this period was 5.7%.

There are currently 678 people hospitalized in serious condition due to coronavirus complications, 178 of them on ventilators.

Israel’s death toll has risen to 3,338 people.

Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said Wednesday evening the nationwide lockdown in its current form is not effective enough in bringing down the infection and needs to be much stricter.

Ash said in a meeting with heads of local authorities that the Health Ministry will have to recommend tightening of the lockdown, which Israel entered on Sunday evening.

“There is a big question mark over the effectiveness of the lockdown, in the coming days we will probably have to recommend tightening it,” he said. “I am very concerned that we will not be able to vaccinate enough people [before infection surges].”

Meanwhile, Israel became the first country Friday to have provided the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to 10% of its population. With another 153,000 people vaccinated Thursday, some 950,000 had been inoculated by Friday morning, the Health Ministry said — or just over one in ten Israelis.

“Yesterday we broke a new record and vaccinated 153,430 people,” Health Minister Edelstein said in a statement, thanking medical teams for their work. “Today we’ll pass one million.”
Israel has far outpaced other countries so far, according to statistics from the Our World in Data website operated by Oxford University. The U.S. stands at just 0.84%.

So far, some 41% of over 60-year-olds have had their first shot, according to Health Ministry figures released Friday.