On Wednesday, there were almost 4,000 new cases of the coronavirus diagnosed in Israel, as the Omicron variant continued to drive a surge in infections. On Thursday, the Health Ministry said that they had confirmed 3,947 new cases on Wednesday, which was triple the number of cases diagnosed on Wednesday last week, when the new cases confirmed had only been 1,418. Along with the 4,000 new cases, there were an additional 1,059 more diagnosed since midnight, which pushed the total number of active infections in Israel past the 20,000 mark. This is nearly double the number that had been recorded last week.
Apart from the rising morbidity figures, the serious cases of the coronavirus in Israel also increased on Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, as they went from 84 to 94. 46 patients of these serious cases were considered critical. Most of the seriously ill patients have not been vaccinated. The surge in the number of serious cases has not been similar to that of new cases and the former have mostly plateaued in the last few weeks. However, experts believe that as the outbreak intensifies, this could change, even though the Omicron variant is believed to cause milder illness.
Meanwhile, there was a steady rise in the transmission rate of the virus, as it reached 1.62. Known as the ‘R’ number, this refers to the number of people that each virus carrier can infect. It takes the data of 10 days into account any a value above 1 is indication that the virus is growing. There was also an increase in the positive test rate, as per the Health Ministry, which has now reached 2.93%. This is another sign that the coronavirus is accelerating in Israel. As for the national death toll, it is now at 8,243.
The ‘traffic light’ program that Israel uses for rating infection levels shows that 11 localities are now ‘red’ areas, which include the West Bank settlements of Revava and Ma’ale Adumin, along with Shtulim, Azor, Yad Binyamin, Yavne, Mevasseret Zion, Hod Hasharon, Rishon Lezion, Tzur Hadassah and Kiryat Ono. The Health Ministry data shows that there are other localities that are also nearing the ‘red’ classification, which include Ramat Hasharon and Ra’anana. In a discussion with officials on Wednesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly stated that there would be a dramatic rise in cases in the near future because of the Omicron variant, which is highly contagious.
He said that this could stretch Israel to the edge and the premier was setting up a team that would be called ‘Plan B’ for creating a traffic light system used to reduce congestion in hospitals. Meanwhile, the first case of an individual was reported by authorities on Thursday, who is suffering from the coronavirus and flu at the same time. The patient was a pregnant woman, who was unvaccinated and had mild symptoms. In recent weeks, flu cases in Israel have also spiked and almost 2,000 people have been hospitalized over fears of a ‘twindemic’ because of the two infections.