COVID in Israel: Third Day in a Row With Over 5,700 New Cases, 421 in Serious Condition

Numbers of seriously ill COVID cases continues to rise as Israel tightens gathering, proof of immunity restrictions

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Haaretz
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Hospital staff get ready to treat coronavirus patients in Kfar Saba, Israel
Hospital staff get ready to treat coronavirus patients in Kfar Saba, IsraelCredit: Tomer Appelbaum
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Haaretz

Israel reported 5,946 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday according to data published by the Health Ministry on Thursday, the day after Israel approved tightening proof of immunity and gathering restrictions as the delta variant continues to spread nationwide.

According to the ministry, the number of serious coronavirus cases in Israel topped Tuesday's six-month high, with 421 cases. There are currently 42,203 active coronavirus cases in Israel.

Experts explain: If most Israelis are vaccinated, why is COVID surging?

The rate of positive coronavirus tests rose from Tuesday's figure of 4.59 percent to 4.62 percent on Wednesday.

More than 5.8 million Israelis have received their first vaccine; 5.4 million have received their second vaccine. 716,618 Israelis have received their third coronavirus vaccine. 

On Wednesday, Israel's coronavirus cabinet approved expanding the Green Pass proof of immunity program to apply to Israelis aged three and up, as well as limiting gatherings. The new restrictions will go into effect next Wednesday.

Events in private homes or venues that are excluded from the Green Pass, which bars access from those not vaccinated or recovered, can have up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Venues that are covered by the Green Pass scheme can hold up to 1,000 people indoors and up to 5,000 outdoors.  

The scheme applies to the majority of venues, both public and private institutions, including swimming pools, fitness centers, academic institutions, all cultural and sports events, exhibitions and conferences, museums, libraries, restaurants and hotels.

Malls and shopping centers, however, are not bound by it.

The government also agreed on covering the costs of coronavirus testing of children up to age 12 as rapid-testing stations are being set up nationwide over the next several days.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry and its advisory teams began discussing whether to extend the third COVID vaccination program to those aged 45 and over.

Among experts on the pandemic response team, there is no broad support in favor of giving the shot to those younger than 60 just yet, with opinions divided on the matter, sources familiar with the subject said. 

Nevertheless, the attitude could shift within days, in accordance with the morbidity trends, or marked signs of a positive impact of the third shot on those 60 and over.

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