Spread of COVID-19 in Israel slowing down

January 31, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The spread of the Omicron variant is apparently in the decline, and for the first time since November, the R coefficient of infection fell below 1 and stood at 0.95, the Ministry of Health announced Sunday.

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

When the sample correlation coefficient (R) drops below 1, it means that the number of patients is dropping and that the spread of the virus is slowing down.

Experts estimate that Israel reached the peak of the wave last Tuesday, and will now witness a decline in all the parameters.

However, tens of thousands of Israel are still infected with COVID-19 on a daily basis. For the first time in about a year, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in serious passed the 1,000 mark over the weekend and was recorded at 1,069.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has been facing criticism over his policy of cancelling almost all the corona-related restrictions, stated Sunday during the weekly Cabinet meeting that “we are seeing the beginning of a trend of stabilization in the wave of the Omicron. I am choosing my words to avoid an atmosphere of ‘end of the course,’ and the celebrating of the end of the Omicron that is out of place.”

“The new education outline we have implemented puts 2.5 million students into the testing radar twice a week. This is how we find verified and save from infections. Parents need to take responsibility, make sure to check on their children properly and send them to school only if they are feeling well. In a few more weeks like this, if we all act responsibly – together we will overcome this wave as well,” he declared.

The government has enacted a new policy in which students enter quarantine only in very specific cases, and all students are cheeked twice a week with an antigen test.

At least 206 Israelis have died of the virus in the past week, an 81% increase over the week before that. A total of 8,658 Israelis have died of COVID-19 in the past two years.

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