Ministry of Health D-G: ‘We are at a complex point in time’

September 13, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel is “at a complex point in time” and “there are positive signs of curbing the wave” of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, Ministry of Health Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash said, as the infection rate remained high.

Inside the Coronavirus Unit in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem as the 4th COVID-19 wave driven by Delta variant is continuing to spread across Israel. Jerusalem, Aug 25, 2021. Photo by Shalev Shalom/TPS

Speaking at the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Sunday, Ash said that “we are at a complex point in time. There are positive signs of curbing the wave, which reached record numbers of confirmed cases, more than previous waves.”

However, “fortunately, in terms of severe cases, the number was lower due to the vaccinations. Over the past few days, we have seen stabilization in [the number of] severe cases, and over the weekend we also saw stabilization in confirmed cases,” he noted.

He explained that the stabilization he is seeing is “the result of a combination of the vaccinations and more cautious behaviour by the population.”

He said that the reproduction number (R) climbed to 1.05 after dropping to 0.85 last week, and claimed the number of confirmed cases has dropped, even though it remained above 10,000 new daily cases.

“We are at a sensitive point due to the opening of the education system, and I’m glad we opened because it’s a very important value. We took steps such as the rapid tests campaign and various rules we set for locations with higher morbidity, and I hope these will help us over the next two weeks,” he said.

The Ministry of Health updated Sunday that it recorded 10,084 cases on Saturday after recording 9,794 on Friday. Numbers over the weekend are lower than the rest of the week.

6.6% of the extremely high 165,299 tests done over the weekend returned positive.

697 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in serious condition, an increase of almost 40 in the past few days, with 154 of them on life support.

Over the weekend, 29 people died of COVID-19, 165 have died in the past five days, and a total of 7,338 Israelis have died from the virus since the outbreak in the country.

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