Israel Passes 1,000 Serious COVID Cases, Highest in a Year

A Magen David worker takes a COVID-19 rapid antigen test from Israelis, at a drive-through complex in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Health Ministry said on Motzoei Shabbos that for the first time since February 2021, the number of seriously ill COVID patients exceeded 1,000, with 231 on ventilators.

The ministry also said that 38 people died from coronavirus over the weekend and 406 since the beginning of January, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic to 8,657.

However, health experts including Professor Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute said that the wave of morbidity caused by the highly infectious omicron variant had peaked and was on the decline.

The R factor, indicating the spread of COVID in the community, was also dropping rapidly and now stands at 1.01.

Since Jan. 1, 1,364,451 people were confirmed to have been infected by the virus, with over 75,000 over the weekend alone. Some of those confirmed with the virus were ill for a second time.

There are currently 455,000 active COVID-19 patients. The largest concentration are in the Yerushalayim area but according to the ministry and the HMOs, the vast majority of them are said to be suffering mild symptoms only.

The Health Ministry was to meet with the teachers union on Motzoei Shabbos to continue the discussion about the return to school on Sunday morning and the government’s new testing policy for students. This follows the decision made on Friday to extend the temporary order preventing the teachers union from striking in protest of the end of isolation for children exposed to COVID-19 cases.


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