Fifth wave? COVID-19 transmission rate in Israel rising

November 21, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) morbidity indices in Israel exhibited a worrying trend in recent days as the coefficient of infection (R) increased and reached 1.02, indicating a spread of the virus.

A nurse takes a swab at a Covid-19 rapid testing center near the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Aug 19, 2021. Photo by Shalev Shalom/TPS

The Health Ministry’s data published over the weekend shows that after several weeks in which the R was below 1, it rose in recent days to a value greater than 1, meaning that it is spreading again.

The increase in the R coefficient reflects events that occurred about 10 days ago.

The Health Ministry registered 497 new cases over the weekend. 133 patients are in critical condition, of whom 82 are on life support.

About half of the new infection cases are between the ages of 0-11, and the government is in discussions on how to contend with the upcoming Hanukkah celebrations and events.

Israel will launch its vaccination campaign for children aged 5-12 on Tuesday after a shipment of vaccinations arrived in the country on Saturday.

About half of the parents are expected to vaccinate their children.

Director-General of the Ministry of Health Nachman Ash warned in an interview with IDF Radio on Sunday that “there is no doubt that the public feeling is that we have emerged from the fourth wave and that we are safe. It’s time to go back to the guidelines, we do not want to go back to the restrictions.”

“The increase is disturbing, but it must be taken in proportion. As long as the coefficient stays that way and does not rise – everything is fine. I hope that the decision to vaccinate the children will also arouse those who need to receive the [third] booster shot,” he said.

8,154 Israelis have died of the virus in almost two years, including six in the past week.

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