Serious COVID Cases in Israel Hit All-time Record

Despite the peak in serious illness, Israel continues to see a sustained drop in COVID infections

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Haaretz
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Medical staff in a COVID ward at Shamir Medical Center
Medical staff in a COVID ward at Shamir Medical CenterCredit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv
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Haaretz

The omicron wave in Israel has driven an all-time high in the number of serious COVID cases amid a steady decline in infections, Health Ministry data show on Saturday.

There are currently 1,229 serious cases across the country, with 375 patients defined in critical condition. The total number of seriously ill patients stood at 1,000 a week ago.

Despite the increase in serious cases, Israel has witnessed a steady downward trend in infections. On Friday, the Health Ministry logged 37,977 new confirmed cases, the lowest figure in almost a month and compared with 46,347 the previous day.

The R number – the average number of people each coronavirus carrier infects – also continued to fall, hitting 0.88. The figure is based on data from the ten days prior, and any number below 1 indicates a declining spread of the virus.

The number of deceased also rose by 55 on Friday to reach 9,135 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

Almost a third of all Israelis have contracted coronavirus at some point over the two years since the outbreak of the pandemic. And more than 1.5 million of those cases have occurred over the past two months, due to the omicron variant.

On Friday, the coronavirus cabinet dropped the requirement to present proof of vaccination for most venues. "High-risk events" such as weddings and parties will still require a certificate. The decision will go into effect on February 7, subject to approval from the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

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