323 New COVID Cases in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Healthcare workers take test samples of Israelis to check if they have been infected with the coronavirus, at a health center in Lod. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

The Health Ministry on Motzoei Shabbos reported that 323 new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed on Friday.

The new cases bring the country’s total number of active cases to 2,398, 58 of whom are hospitalized. Of those, 31 are listed in serious condition. Seventeen of the patients are in critical condition, and 16 are on ventilators.

The ministry also reported that 69,247 coronavirus tests were performed on Friday, and 0.5% of test results received were positive.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus Cabinet is set to meet this week to discuss the Delta variant outbreak in Israel, as one research team warned that the country could see as many as 1,000 new cases a day in the next two weeks – compared to the current 300.

Another Israeli researcher has said that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine remains effective against the Delta variant.

“A real wave of infection is spreading in Israel,” a team of researchers from Hebrew University wrote in a report that was sent to the National Security Council. “Breaking the wave will require taking significant steps… Waiting without making any changes at this point will necessitate taking more difficult steps later on to achieve a similar effect.”

According to their predictions, since the reproduction rate or “R” has hit 1.5, the number of daily cases is likely to increase every week. If there is no change in behavior – no adherence to mask wearing indoors, no rolling back out of the green passport – “it will be difficult to prevent reaching about 1,000 daily infections within about two weeks.”

The Coronavirus Cabinet is expected to convene this week to discuss new restrictions, such as implementing the green passport.