According to the statistics disclosed by the Health Ministry on Thursday and Friday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country has dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time in three months. With the Delta outbreak waning, the active cases in Israel as of Friday morning were 9,354. In early September, this number had been around 90,000. The data also indicated that 651 new cases were diagnosed on Thursday, which is down from the numbers two months ago when daily cases diagnosed were between 5,000 and 6,000. The total active cases in the country on Thursday were 9,551.
As of Friday morning, the number of serious cases had declined to 227 and these included 153 people in critical condition and 133 on ventilators. Since Thursday morning, the death toll had gone up by six to reach a total of 8,081. In recent weeks, there has also been a steady fall in the COVID-19 positivity rate in the country and Health Ministry figures showed that this low hadn’t been seen since the start of July. On Thursday, only 651 people had tested positive from the 77,000 tests that were conducted, which was a positivity rate of about 0.92%, which is a slight increase from the 0.81% on Wednesday.
In early September, when the fourth wave in Israel had reached its peak, this positivity rate had been higher than 8%. However, health officials have warned that dropping the ball on vaccines is not a good idea if Israel wants to stave off future waves. Up until now, outdoor gatherings in Israel had had a cap of 5,000, but the restrictions were canceled on Wednesday by the government. From Friday onwards, open air gatherings would be able to have an unlimited number of people with a Green Pass. As a whole, all indicators show that the fourth COVID wave that began in Israel in July and led to 10,000 cases being diagnosed in a day is coming to an end.
Under the traffic light program of Israel that ranks areas as green, yellow, orange and red, depending on the rate of positivity, number of new cases and growth in cases, only one town remains red. This is outside Jerusalem and called the Beit El settlement. Most of the country is ranked either green or yellow and orange towns are 11 in number. The end of the fourth wave in the country has been credited partly to booster shot campaign that was rolled out in August for those over the age of 65 and then introduced for the rest of the population.
More than 42% of Israel’s population, which is around 4 million, have gotten the third booster shot. At least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 67% of the population. But, there are still 650,000 people in Israel who have not received a single dose, even though they are eligible for vaccination. Likewise, 1.1 million have not received the booster shot, even though they are eligible for it. Next week, an advisory panel of the Health Ministry will begin the approval process for vaccination of 5 to 11 year olds.