Israel’s Positivity Rate Tops 3%: ‘We’re Not Seeing Any Slowdown’

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Nachman Ash. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Health Ministry Director Gen. Professor Nachman Ash said Sunday morning that the new regulations enforced in recent weeks had yet to yield any measurable deceleration in the spread of the coronavirus in Israel, as it battles a resurgent outbreak amid the spread of the Delta variant.

As of Sunday morning, the positivity rate for those tested for COVID-19 was over 3%, the highest recorded in months.

A day after the total number of serious COVID-19 cases passed 200 for the first time since mid-April and a new high in daily cases was recorded, Ash, speaking to Kan News, said the Health Ministry was concerned things could get worse.

“The rate of positive tests has passed 3% and we do not see a slowdown in morbidity,” Ash said. “We are monitoring the data. I can say and reassure that the number of people on respirators has not increased much. But it certainly worries us.”

According to Health Ministry figures Sunday morning, there were 2,080 COVID-19 cases confirmed on Shabbos, with 3.17% of the 73,710 tests performed coming back positive.

There were 212 serious cases, up 11 from midnight. Of those, 42 people were in critical condition, with 37 of them on ventilators.

The death toll rose to 6,474, with one fatality since midnight.

In total there have now been 874,807 confirmed COVID cases in the country since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, Ash said that both the Health and Education Ministries wanted schools to open as normal on Sept. 1, and that the government aimed to avoid any lockdowns over the coming chagim in Tishrei.

“I hope we will be able to get through the chagim without further restrictions,” he said.

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