Seriously Ill Cases Drop, But Top Official Warns Omicron Wave Not Over

On Tuesday, Nachman Ash, the Director-General of the Health Ministry, warned that even though the number of coronavirus cases was dropping, the fifth wave of infections that was fueled by the Omicron variant in Israel is still ongoing. The Knesset Health Committee had an emergency meeting during which Ash addressed the lawmakers. This meeting had been called by lawmakers in the opposition to determine whether the health system in Israel had collapsed because of the pandemic. Ash said that the wave was still ongoing in the country and the number of confirmed cases is still on the high side. 

He acknowledged that this wave had put a serious strain on the country’s health system. Ash stated that in terms of human lives, the wave definitely had a cost, but the burden didn’t lead to a collapse of hospitals. Ash had added that when the wave had reached its peak, there had been 200 patients who had slipped into serious condition in a day. He went on to warn that the total number of active coronavirus cases was still higher than it had been in any of the four previous waves of the virus that had happened in the country. 

Ash said that the hospitals in Israel were certainly feeling this pressure. On Monday, the total number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Israel was around 12,930. These remarks from the Director-General came as the number of serious virus cases in the country dropped down to 753. According to the data from the Health Ministry shown on Tuesday, these numbers were 19 down from the serious cases recorded a day earlier. The rate of seriously ill patients who are not vaccinated and over the age of 60 is around 244.9 for every 100,000 people. 

In comparison, the same rate in patients who have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is about 91.2 for every 100,000 people. Almost 90% of the over-60 population in Israel has received at least two doses of the coronavirus vaccine. There are a total of 9.5 million citizens in the country and out of them, around 6,698,138 have gotten one shot of the vaccine. Two doses have been administered to 6,118,366 people and a booster shot has been given to 4,461,159. A second booster shot has also been given to 720,986 people. The coronavirus vaccines are available for people aged 5 and above. 

The figures from the Health Ministry showed that the number of active virus patients in Israel is 112,271. These numbers came just a day after the country’s death toll reached a grim milestone of 10,000. This figure had increased to 10,003 on Tuesday morning. However, there are signs that the fifth wave is indeed waning in the country. Reports indicate that cabinet ministers are contemplating lifting the requirement of indoor masks, but they have not made any final decisions. On Monday, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz had stated that he was not in a hurry to remove masks while attending a Meretz faction meeting. 

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