Health Ministry Reports Under 10,000 New COVID Cases on Friday

YERUSHALAYIM -
Health personnel take test samples on Israelis wanting to travel abroad, at a COVID-19 test station in Tzfas. (David Cohen/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Motzoei Shabbos said that 9,739 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Friday after 143,732 tests conducted, indicating a 6.91% positivity rate.

This is a slight drop from previous days, after four consecutive days of over 10,000 new cases.

The number of serious cases however rose, and currently 677 patients are being treated for serious illness due to COVID complications, with 157 on ventilators.

Since the start of the pandemic, 7,153 Israelis have succumbed to the virus.

Meanwhile, while the Health Ministry has yet to publish official guidelines for the upcoming chagim, Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash has recommended Israelis downsize their gatherings and asked all those attending to take a rapid coronavirus test in advance. Ash further recommended guests keep their distance from one another and celebrate in the open air – in yards, parks or on balconies – when possible.

Medical Association Chairman and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev School of Public Health Director Professor Nadav Davidovitch expressed concern over the spread of the virus ahead of the chagim.

“Morbidity levels in Israel remain high. We face a significant challenge… ahead of the chagim period, the tefillos and communal meals. We must all think and speak to family and friends about how we plan to celebrate and how we can better conduct ourselves at chag meals, including [in] a ventilated place and [by] limiting the number of participants,” he said.

“We can’t leave things up in the air,” Davidovitch said. “The state must issue guidelines, but we already know what it’s like to live with the coronavirus and can behave responsibility by adapting to the complex situation at hand.”