COVID-19 abating in Israel? Decrease in number of serious cases

August 22, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Israeli health system expressed cautious optimism over the weekend after the fast climb in the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in serious condition slowed down, apparently, the result of the third booster shot being administered to Israelis aged 40 and above.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, this morning (Friday, 20 August 2021), at Meir Medical Centre in Kfar Saba received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.         Photo:  Koby Gideon (GPO)

The Health Ministry updated Sunday morning that 645 patients were hospitalized in serious condition. Initial projections showed that at this time, some 800 patients should have been hospitalized in serious condition.

Over 1,377,000 Israelis received the third dose.

Professor Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and an expert on COVID-19 in Israel, noted that in a trend of several consecutive days, the number of severely ill hospitalized patients broke its steady doubling every 10 days.

Professor Ran Balicer, Founding Director of Clalit Research Institute, spoke of “the first favourable news in eight weeks” as the third booster dose “seems to be reducing documented infections on an individual level and also, now on a population level, and despite rising rates, in 60+ the curve is bending.”

“While it is difficult to tease out behavioural factors as 60+ are being more careful in last few days, the bending seems to be indicating to a booster effect beyond that,” he said.

“However, the exponential increase in overall cases and Israel is now number one per capita, will lead to renewed ascent if not curbed,” he cautioned.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett received the third dose of the Coronavirus vaccine on Friday.

He stated that “Israel is the pioneer of the third dose of the vaccines against the COVID virus. We’re seeing profound effectiveness, the efficacy of the vaccines. It’s working, it’s safe and it’s the way to defeat this virus.”

He called on Israelis “to work together in order to defeat it. We from Israel are going to share all the data, all the information, all the insights in this pioneering. I’m happy to hear that many other countries are following suit because at the end of the day, this is a global war on COVID and we’ve got to win.”

While the number of new serious cases appeared to be curbed, the death rate remained high. 295 Israelis have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of August, including 143 in the past week. A total of 6,782 Israelis have died of the virus since the outbreak.

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