Israel Continues to See Decline in COVID Cases; Hospitalizations at Lowest Since Aug.

YERUSHALAYIM -
A man receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a healthcare center in Yerushalayim, Sunday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel on Monday continued to see signs that the current coronavirus infection wave was ebbing, with nearly all crucial parameters showing a decline.

The Health Ministry reported that 2,653 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed the previous day. With 94,787 tests conducted on Sunday, the infection rate continued to drop, remaining at 2.83%.

Out of 38,088 active patients, 564 are in serious condition, with 204 connected to ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic rose to 7,827.

The Coronavirus Cabinet on Sunday rejected a proposal made by Health Ministry officials to scrap some Green Pass restrictions if coronavirus morbidity continues to decline.

Ministers did approve the loosening of Green Pass restrictions in museums and libraries. It was also decided that public venues will be forced to scan the barcode on the new Green Pass documents upon entry starting on Tuesday.

Earlier on Sunday, the Health Ministry announced a three-day extension to the Green Pass after users reported experiencing technical difficulties in issuing the updated document through the ministry’s website.

The new Green Pass, which serves as proof of vaccination against COVID-19, was supposed to come into effect Sunday morning, effectively barring 1.9 million doubly vaccinated Israelis from entering public facilities unless they can present a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours, or a negative rapid antigen test from the previous 24 hours.

During that same Knesset committee meeting, Head of Public Health in the Health Ministry Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said that according to data, 91% of those who were vaccinated and still fell ill with COVID were inoculated over five months prior – another possible sign that the two-dose regiment might not be enough to protect against the pathogen.