Sixth Coronavirus Wave May Already Be Here

By Hamodia Staff

The entrance to Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — A medical expert said on Monday that the arrival of a sixth wave of the coronavirus is now a fact, as infection levels and serious illnesses continued to rise in Israel.

“If the criteria for being in another Covid-19 wave is an extreme increase in the number of positive tests, then we are in the midst of a wave,” said Dr. Nadav Sorek, director of the infectious disease lab at the Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, according to The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

“The significance is twofold and worrying in light of the increase in the number of tests. In recent weeks, we have witnessed an increasing increase in positive tests from the total number of tests to detect and identify the Coronavirus, and if we take into account that the number of tests has increased at the same time, then the reality is even more complex.”

According to the Health Ministry, 11,438 tested positive for the virus on Sunday, 68,000 during the past seven days. A total of 53,828 have an active infection, most of them with the BA5 sub-type of the Omicron variant.

A total of 285 people are in serious condition and 56 in critical condition. Fifty are respirated and one is connected to an ECMO machine that takes over for the heart and lungs. A total of 10,940 people in Israel have died of COVID-19 in the last 2.5 years and 26 during the past week.

Over 825,000 people aged 60 and over have received a fourth vaccination, and 4.5 million Israelis have gotten three shots. Internal medicine departments at Ziv Medical Center in Safed are the most overburdened, with 123% capacity, followed by Hillel Jaffe with 121%.

However, the authorities are not ready to call for a return to pandemic restrictions. The Health Ministry continues to recommend wearing face masks indoors, especially in crowded places, but has not required them except in medical institutions, apparently because of the “business as usual” attitude in Israel and since most people will refuse to comply, especially in the current hot weather, the Post said.

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