Despite Low Infection Rate, Health Official Warns: Virus ‘Still Here’

YERUSHALAYIM -
A technician carries out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at the Ziv Medical Center, in Tzfas. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Israel’s coronavirus infection rate stands at 0.5%, according to Health Ministry data released on Thursday. Of the 53,755 people who tested for the coronavirus on Wednesday, just 274 were found to be carrying COVID-19.

The country currently has just 4,771 active cases of the coronavirus, 290 of which are listed in serious condition. Of those, 153 are on ventilators.

As for Israel’s vaccination campaign, at least 5,295,082 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine while over 4,894, 124 have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Just days after claiming the pandemic was “dying out” in Israel, the head of Public Health Services at the Health Ministry Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis cautioned the coronavirus is “still here” in an interview with Yediot on Wednesday.

“We are only midway through the battle, the pandemic is still here,” said Alroy-Preis. “We have hundreds of verified patients every day. In addition, about 37% of the population is yet to be vaccinated. That is why we still must be careful.”

Referring to foreign variants of the virus, the director told Yediot, “I hope this respite lasts until the war [on the coronavirus] ends. There are a lot of threats that can come from outside. Since a third of the country is not yet vaccinated, including children, we have a fertile ground for outbreaks.”

She said that “when we can move around without masks and the threat of new infections ceases, then we will have achieved herd immunity. Currently though, we are not quite there.”