Israel's COVID Infection Rate Hits Five-month Low

New Military Intelligence report shows Israel's R number – the number of people a person sick with COVID infects – has dropped to 0.78, the lowest since mid-October

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A performance by Israeli musician Ivri Lider in Tel Aviv two weeks ago.
A performance by Israeli musician Ivri Lider in Tel Aviv two weeks ago.Credit: Oded Balilty / AP

Israel's R number – the number of people a person sick with COVID infects – has dropped to 0.78, a five-month low, a report by Israel's Military Intelligence published Sunday shows.

According to Health Ministry statistics, 5,988 Israelis have died of COVID-19. There are currently 626 Israelis in serious condition – down from 750 two weeks ago. On Saturday 773 people tested positive for the virus, after 2.9 percent of tests conducted came back positive.

At the end of February, the Health Ministry recorded a rise from 0.83 to 0.9 in two days. The increase began about two weeks after preschools and lower grades reopened in areas where the rate of infection was lowest, and a few days after the second stage of reopening began with more children back in school and shops reopening.

The rise in the infection rate was expected following the lockdown exit, which raises exposure to the virus. The spread of the British and South African variants and that children under 16 aren’t yet vaccinated has refocused the attention of health professionals on the education system.

Due to the high immunization rate among the adult population, the composition of those infected and critically ill in Israel changed last month.

Children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 constituted more than 43 percent of all new patients, and those aged 20 to 39 constituted 35 percent of them.

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