The Perfect Enemy | Israel’s serious COVID cases rise by 65 percent in a week
July 5, 2022
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Israel has registered a 65-percent increase in COVID patients in serious condition over the past week, Health Ministry data released on Friday shows.

There are currently 140 coronavirus patients in serious condition, of whom 39 are in critical condition and 32 are on ventilators. This number is up from last week, which saw just 85 patients in serious condition.

At the same time, the R number, which represents the average number of people each coronavirus carrier infects, has been falling for the last four days. It currently stands at 1.31, meaning that the virus is still spreading in Israel, but is down from the six-month peak four days ago of 1.52. The number is calculated using data from the previous 10 days.

On Thursday, Israel logged 7,366 new COVID cases. The number is higher than the average of 5,935, as it has been since earlier this month.

Israel’s COVID czar said last week that the rise in coronavirus cases in the country can be attributed to BA.5, an offshoot of the omicron variant. But the rising figures – after months of relatively low infection – are caused by several variants, according to a breakdown of new cases and health experts.

The omicron variant that was behind a surge in infection rates this past winter was BA.1. After that wave subsided, cases rose again in April due to BA.2, which is 30 percent more infectious than its predecessor.

Despite the rapid uptick in infection in past weeks, the Health Ministry director general said last week that the ministry does not plan to reinstate the country’s indoor mask mandate.

“We do not yet know whether this is the beginning of a new wave,” Prof. Nachman Ash told Army Radio, and emphasized that Israel is still not considering rolling out a fifth shot. “There is a clear rise, but we will have to monitor the situation in the coming days and reassess next week.”

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