The Health Ministry director general said on Saturday evening that Israel's coronavirus diagnoses and serious cases seem to be on a downward trend, following vaccination efforts.
"It all depends on continuing to vaccinate," Prof. Nachman Ash told journalists at a press conference. "The mass of inoculated people is the main factor."
Ash said that over the past ten days, the number of people each coronavirus carrier infects – known as the R number – has declined, and that it may soon fall below one person per COVID patient. "From there, we'll begin to see a drop in infections," he said.
According to Health Ministry data, 1.95 million Israelis have received a third dose of the COVID vaccine as of Saturday evening, and about 5.5 million have gotten two shots.
There are currently 703 people in serious condition, of whom 193 are in critical condition and 153 are on ventilators. On Friday, 8,482 people tested positive for COVID – 6.65 percent of tests came back positive.
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Ash said that the number of vaccinated people is rising, "but it's still low, as I see it – both among young people and adults. We still have a long way to go; there are still hundreds of thousands who can be vaccinated. Of course, we won't reach everyone," he said, but "it can be the difference between a decrease in infection and no decrease in infection."
Ash added that he believes that the school year will begin as planned on the first of September. "We support starting the school year," he said.