COVID in Israel: Serious Cases Fall Below 1,000 After Omicron Peak

Israel's R number, or the average number of people each COVID carrier infects, reaches lowest point since September

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A member of the medical staff in the pediatric coronavirus ward at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, in January.
A member of the medical staff in the pediatric coronavirus ward at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, in January. Credit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

Serious COVID cases are continuing to drop on Tuesday after the number hit an all-time high earlier this month, Health Ministry data shows.

The omicron wave drove Israel to a peak of 1,229 serious cases in early February, but that number fell to 974 on Tuesday after a slow in the past week.

There are currently 338 patients in critical condition, and 279 on ventilators. About 448 patients in serious condition are fully vaccinated, and 400 are not vaccinated at all, even though the latter group makes up only about 12 percent of the population in that age group.

The R number, which shows how many people each COVID carrier infects on average, continues to dive below 1, meaning that the pandemic is shrinking in Israel. The number, which is calculated using data from ten days beforehand, now stands at 0.7 – the lowest the number has been since September.

On Monday, 18 people died of COVID. One third of them was vaccinated, one third was not and one third had not received a booster shot. The number of deaths from the disease has been steadily declining for the past week.

That day, 23,555 people tested positive for the coronavirus, below the recent average of about 31,000.

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