Dramatic Rise in Serious COVID Cases in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing are seen outside Magen David Adom headquarters in Yerushalayim, on Thursday. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

As the omicron coronavirus variant continues to rapidly spread across Israel, the Health Ministry on Sunday morning reported a steep rise in serious coronavirus cases, climbing from 172 the previous day to 205. Out of those severely ill, 48 are connected to ventilators.

On Dec. 31, the number of those seriously ill stood at 93, which has within less than two weeks more than doubled itself.

The Health Ministry also reported that 17,521 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed over Shabbos.

With 151,189 tests conducted, the infection rate stands at 11.71% — the highest it has been since Sept. 2020.

However, officials noted that the high infection rate stems from the recent change to the testing outline, where vaccinated Israelis can test themselves at home instead of arriving at a clinic or authorized Health Ministry facility to take a PCR test, which is reserved for those over the age of 60 or are part of a group at high risk from the virus.

However, many pharmacies are reporting a shortage of antigen testing kits due to the high demand.

The tally of active patients nationwide currently stands at over 115,010, with 523 of them receiving treatment in hospitals.

Since the start of the pandemic, 8,259 Israelis have succumbed to coronavirus-related complications.