Report Shows One in Nine Virus Cases in Israel are Reinfections

According to a report published on Friday, about one in nine recent cases of COVID-19 that were diagnosed in Israel were of people who had previously recovered from the infection. According to media reports, 11% of the cases that had been confirmed in the last few days were all reinfections. No other details were provided about the percentage of people who had recovered from the virus and had also been vaccinated, but the report indicated that a majority of those re-infected had been at least partially vaccinated. Currently, there has been an unprecedented fifth wave of infections in Israel, which has been driven by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Health officials have predicted that the country could see as many as 100,000 cases diagnosed daily in the next few days. In fact, due to the new testing guidelines that have been imposed, it is highly likely that the true number of infections could actually turn out to be significantly higher. On Friday, the data published by the Health Ministry showed that 40,430 new cases had been diagnosed in the last 24 hours. Officials believe that this figure is also undercounted and not the actual number of cases that exist in the country. 

The worrying part is the fact that the number of patients in serious condition has also climbed up in the last few days, as it hit 306. This was an increase from a day earlier when the number had been 283. Amongst these serious patients, about 86 of them were considered to be critically ill 76 patients were on ventilators. However, there has been a slow rise in the number of seriously ill patients who require a ventilator because of the infection from the Omicron variant, as opposed to previous waves. Even though the Omicron variant is highly infectious and is now dominating Israel, it is considered less virulent as opposed to the previous ones.

However, figures from the Health Ministry show that the number of seriously ill patients, as well as deaths, is significantly lower than the numbers seen in the past. On Thursday, there were a total of 319,572 tests were carried out and 12.65% came back positive. This is in continuation with the high positive rate that has been seen in the last week. The total number of confirmed active cases in the country was close to the 250,000 mark. Regardless, the infections had driven about 38,605 more people into quarantine because of exposure to a known carrier of the virus. 

This brought the total of people in quarantine because of exposure to 178,988 and the number of active patients stood at 248,192. New rules were imposed for quarantine on Thursday, which shortened the isolation period for all asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to seven days from ten. However, patients who are displaying symptoms are still required to quarantine for a total of 10 days. There have been arguments for cutting down this period even further to five days, as the United States has done. 

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