The fifth wave of COVID-19 morbidity in Israel has already begun and the state must take preemptive measures to forestall the spread of the highly mutated Omicron coronavirus variant to allow officials to collect reliable data and devise an adequate plan of action against the new strain, a new report submitted to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett by researchers from the Hebrew University in Yerushalayim on Friday said.
The researchers stated that infections are rising significantly and are pervading across all sectors and age groups.
However, researchers noted that they are unsure what the root cause of the outbreak might be, citing several possible causes, including a waning immunity in the population, increased infections in young families which have the lowest immunity rate among the general population and mounting virus cases among school students.
Israel’s R-number, which gauges how many new coronavirus infections spurt on average from any single case, crept up to 1.1, suggesting that the pandemic in the country is on the rise again, the Health Ministry reported on Friday.
Meanwhile, 589 Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus out of some 92,000 tests carried out over the past 24 hours, putting the country’s infection rate at 0.65%.
From Sunday through Thursday, 3,354 new virus cases have been reported compared to 2,898 cases reported over the same time period last week, marking a 16% hike in new infections.