Serious COVID Cases in Israel Reach a Three-month Peak

Despite the recent uptick in the number of new and serious COVID cases, Israel's infection rate is on a downward trend

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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A woman wearing a protective mask in a Tel Aviv mall amid a rise of COVID infection in Israel, earlier this month.
A woman wearing a protective mask in a Tel Aviv mall amid a rise of COVID infection in Israel, earlier this month.Credit: Hadas Parush
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

The number of coronavirus patients in serious condition has been continuously raising over the past month reaching a three-month peak on Wednesday, data released by Israel's Health Ministry shows.

The number of patients in serious condition was 91 at the end of May and has been gradually climbing, reaching 311 on Wednesday, according to ministry data. Of the 311 patients, 64 are in critical condition, 47 are on ventilators and one is on a life-saving ECMO machine.

Also on Wednesday, Israel logged a minor dip in new cases. The daily increase of 12,092 takes the total number of infections nationwide to 67,865.

Despite the recent uptick in the number of new and serious cases, the infection rate, representing the average number of people each carrier infects, is on a downward trend since June 3. The R number is based on data from 10 days prior, and currently stands at 1.13 – any number above 1 means that the pandemic is actively spreading.

Last week, COVID czar Professor Salman Zarka said that Israel has entered "a sixth wave" of coronavirus. “We are in another wave, the sixth wave of the pandemic, which is characterized mostly by the infection of at-risk groups. We attribute the rise in infection to the BA.5 variant of the omicron family, which is found already in over 50 percent of the [genetic] sequencing test results,” the COVID czar said in the Health Ministry said in a briefing on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Israel approved an amendment to its rapid antigen testing policy. According to the new policy, an official antigen test will be conducted in real time in front of a supervisor via a camera. The new policy is expected to go into effect in the coming weeks.

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