Israel’s COVID Infection Rate Drops Below 1%; First Time Since July

Worker take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test at a Magen David Adom testing center in Lod, on Oct. 17. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Sunday said the positivity rate of COVID infections dropped below 1% for the first time since July.

According to the ministry, 324 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday after 33,500 tests conducted indicating a 0.73% positivity rate.

There are currently 307 people being treated for serious complications of the virus with 157 on ventilators.

Some 76% of the gravely ill patients have not been vaccinated and among those over 60 the percentage was found to be 89%.

After five people died on Shabbos, Israel’s fatality rate stands on 8,046.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that his government has budgeted NIS 10 billion to fight future waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are creating an economic and health safety net to prepare for future waves and will enable us to operate at times of low morbidity and in case of more waves, based on lessons learned during previous months,” he said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The ministry’s head of Public Medicine, Dr. Sharon Alroy Preis said on Sunday that the pandemic is in retreat. “We expect to see less than 1,000 new cases daily.”

Speaking to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Alroy-Preis said she was concerned about the spread of new variants of the virus.

“We are concerned that vaccine resistant variants could arrive from other countries. The risk of renewed morbidity comes from people who had not been vaccinated and from new variants,” she said.