For first time since April, Israel records over 300 daily COVID-19 cases

July 2, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel’s health system yesterday registered 307 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country in the past 24 hours, the highest count of cases since the beginning of April.

A young woman gets vaccinated at Clalit COVID-19 vaccination centre in Rehovot on Jan. 4, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90

The highly contagious Delta (Indian) COVID-19 variant entered the country with passengers who were infected abroad and did no abide by the quarantine requirements, and the variant has spread to several cities and locations throughout Israel.

An IDF report shows that the Indian variant is 60% more contagious than the British strain, the dominant one in Israel, and causes 2.5 times more hospitalizations. However, the Pfizer-developed vaccine, with which the majority of Israelis were vaccinated, is effective against this variant.

The government has issued a number of directives to contend with the outbreaks, with an emphasis on Israelis returning from abroad who are importing new variants into the country, after the virus almost completely disappeared in the country.

The requirement to wear masks in closed public areas returned last Friday, only a week and a half after it was cancelled.

While the majority of Israel’s population over the age of 16 is vaccinated, the majority of the children are not, and only recently were the vaccines made available to the 12 to 15 age group. The vaccination pace is slow due to a lack of interest on the public’s part.

Over 5,598,000 Israeli citizens have received the first dose of the vaccine, some 60% of the entire population, and more than 5,169,000, about 55%, have received the second shot.

Some 85% of the adult population is vaccinated, and therefore the effect of this outbreak on the health system and its ability to contend with a mass influx of patients is expected to be minimal.

Only 54 Israelis are hospitalized with COVID-19 and the number of patients hospitalized in serious condition remained low and fairly stable at 29.

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