End of Fourth Wave? Israel Sees Lowest COVID-19 Rate Since Mid-July

A view of the coronavirus ward of Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The fourth COVID wave in Israel is apparently fading away, as the country recorded the lowest stats of new cases in months.

The Health Ministry updated Monday that 1,199 Israelis tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, out of about 83,000 tests performed, with 1.45% of them returning positive – the lowest rate recorded since mid-July.

372 are hospitalized in critical condition, of whom 162 are ventilated.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated during the Cabinet meeting on Sunday that “while it is possible to say with caution that we are defeating the fourth wave, the Delta wave, it isn’t over until it’s over. We are not taking the foot off the gas and are not taking off the masks. Therefore, as we are managing the gradual exit from the Delta wave, we are preparing the infrastructure for the ‘Omega’ scenario, the code name for a new variant, and of course, we are preparing for the winter, for a combination of flu and the coronavirus.

“We are not closing down the command centers. We are not closing the Magen Avot project for safeguarding the elderly. We are leaving the networks for dealing with the virus open and functioning and are continuing to see to full stocks of vaccines and tests, and so forth,” he added.

In the meantime, the Health Ministry has informed the kupot cholim (HMOs) that starting Thursday, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be possible. The ministry explained that those who could not be vaccinated with the other types due to medical reasons, or who have been referred for vaccination in special circumstances by a doctor, can get the British-Swedish developed vaccine.

Israel’s death toll from the pandemic stands at 7,999.

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