On Friday, the Health Ministry updated its COVID-19 figures and revealed that almost 70,000 Israelis had tested positive for the coronavirus a day earlier. There was also an increase in the number of people in serious condition, as it reached 638. The number of active cases in the country increased to 427,023 and the total number of patients in the hospital reached 1,758. Of these patients, 123 were put on ventilators. The ministry said that about 9,867 medical workers were also sidelined because they had tested positive for the coronavirus. This included 2,916 nurses and 1,379 doctors.
As far as the patients in serious condition who are hospitalized are concerned, 24% of them had not been vaccinated and 55% of them had been administered the booster shot, while the remainder included people who had previously recovered from COVID-19 or were partially vaccinated. The Health Ministry data showed that those who had gotten the third, booster shot of the vaccine were still better protected against serious symptoms of the coronavirus. 85% of Israelis over the age of 60 were boosted, while only 60% of Israelis over 60 who were hospitalized had gotten the boost. About 20% of the total tests conducted had returned positive.
Of these, 18.4% were samples of rapid antigen tests, while 22.5% were PCR test samples. Seven-day figures were also released by the Health Ministry, which showed that the total number of cases during this time period was about 436,028. This was an increase of 67% from a week earlier. The total number of serious cases was about 775, which is an increase of 130.7% from last week. The number of COVID-related deaths had been 58, which was another 34.9% increase from the previous week. Wednesday’s COVID-19 data had also shown that Israel had become the world’s top country in new cases daily per capital.
In other news, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has become the latest Israeli government official to have tested positive for COVID-19. The 62-year old will quarantine at home and has received four doses of the coronavirus vaccine. According to a statement from his office, the minister already has special systems installed in Rosh HaAyin at home and would be using those to work. Gantz had attended a meeting on Thursday with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Aviv Kohavi, the IDF Chief of Staff, and other top-level army officials. It is likely that all those who attended the meeting will have to get tested.
Gantz has now joined the list of numerous other government ministers who have also contracted the coronavirus, including Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, the Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Sports Minister Chilli Tropper. On Friday, 66-year-old Opposition MK Meir Porush was also diagnosed with coronavirus. Last month, Bennett’s daughter had tested positive, which had required the premier to quarantine. As per the new rules, vaccinated individuals who are infected, but asymptomatic can be released from quarantine if they can present two negative rapid antigen tests on the fourth and fifth day.