Serious Cases in Israel Drop as Omicron Wave Ebbs

On Tuesday morning, the number of COVID-19 patients in serious condition in Israel dropped to 1,084, according to the figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is a decline of 15 from the total recorded the previous evening and the first time after cases had begun to rise in January. The data also indicated that the number of fatalities in a day had also reached the lowest in two weeks. The recent numbers indicate that the fifth wave of the coronavirus that was brought on in Israel due to the Omicron variant is waning, but the government continues to urge diligence in complying with the public health regulations. 

The data from the Health Ministry showed that the number of active patients in Israel on Tuesday stood at 425,008, after the number of cases diagnosed on Monday was 67,580. As far as the number of patients in hospitals is concerned, it had climbed to 2,788 and 306 of them were in critical condition. This was a decline from 333 a day earlier. However, 18 more people died of the virus on Monday, which brought the total death toll from the beginning of the pandemic to 8,804. These numbers come as the coronavirus cabinet, which is a panel of ministers formed to develop COVID policy for the government, is scheduled for a meeting. 

They will be voting on the cancellation of the Green Pass requirements that are still applicable. These regulations permit people with recent negative tests of the virus, or proof of immunization, to enter certain avenues. According to government sources, the majority of the member ministers are in favor of abolishing these regulations entirely. However, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, the Science and Technology Minister, said that her Blue and White party is in favor of extending these regulations for two weeks and only freezing them after, instead of canceling them altogether.

Her party is headed by Defense Minister, Benny Gantz. She said that it was important to avoid conveying the message that vaccination is not important, but added that they would make a decision after listening to the experts. Public inoculation has been a key strategy of the government in dealing with the virus and everyone over the age of 5 is eligible for vaccination in Israel. According to the numbers of the Health Ministry, 6,691,151 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine of the total 9.5 million population.

There are 6,093,060 people who have gotten two shots and the booster dose has been administered to 4,442,029. A fourth dose has also been given to 642,137 people, which was made available for those at-risk and the elderly. During a cabinet meeting on Sunday, the government had voted for the extension of the Green Pass regulations for another week. There are a number of ministers who have called for canceling the regulations, including Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar. The former supported the seven-day extension but said that it would be the last time he would vote for keeping it in place. 

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