Israel on Sunday again saw its COVID-19 reproduction number and severe cases spike, just days after health officials said the fourth infection wave had started to ebb.
10,084 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed on Shabbos after 155,871 tests were performed.
The rate of positive tests was 6.6%, while the coefficient of infection rose to 0.96.
The country’s number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients has also seen an increase and now stands at 697 after being stable for the past few weeks.
The death toll from the coronavirus in Israel has risen to 7,338.
For every 100,000 people, 169 unvaccinated Israelis aged 60 and over are in serious condition with the virus, compared to 4.5 among those in the same age group who have been inoculated against the disease.
On the vaccination front, over 6,037,005 Israelis have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while over 5,538,992 have received two doses. Nearly 3 million Israelis – 2,816,096 – have received three doses.
Professor Galia Rahav, who heads Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer’s Infectious Disease Unit told Israel Hayom the situation at hospitals across the country has brought her to tears in recent days.
Rahav, who is considered one of the most experienced in Israel when it comes to treating coronavirus patients, said: “The morbidity from coronavirus here is insufferable and very difficult,” she said. “There aren’t enough emergency room beds for intubated coronavirus patients. I am called for a lot of consultations, and in some of the hospital coronavirus wards, they don’t know enough about treating intubated patients. Patients who weren’t given a chance to live die because there aren’t enough beds and ICU staff. I see this at a lot of hospitals. It’s heartbreaking.”
According to Rahav, “Sixty to seventy percent of the seriously ill patients aren’t vaccinated, but in the ICU wards, they want to first treat younger patients, a majority of whom are unvaccinated. And in some instances, they take the spots of patients who were vaccinated, who are much older, and it is very infuriating.
Rahav’s remarks follow a Sept. 2 report in which senior physicians at government-run hospitals across the country warned coronavirus patients were “paying with their lives” as hospitals were pushed past capacity, leaving inadequately trained staff to treat those in their care.