On Friday, the Health Ministry released figures showing that there was a 79% increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that have been confirmed this week, as opposed to the previous one. According to the Health Ministry, the number of new cases diagnosed on Thursday was around 1,482, which brings the total cases in the week to about 6,455. Last week, the total number of cases that were diagnosed had stood at 3,616. In addition, Thursday became the fifth straight day to record more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus. The ‘R’ number, which is referred to as the number of people who would be infected on average by a single patient of the coronavirus, also increased for the ninth day straight.
As opposed to the R number ten days ago, the R number is now at 1.36. The positive rate on Thursday was 1.4% from the 106,000 samples that had been tested. However, it is important to note that serious cases of the coronavirus remained lower than 100 at 88 and more than 80% of these are people who are not inoculated. As for the death toll in Israel since the beginning of the pandemic, it was around 8,241, with the most recent death occurring on Thursday. On the same day, at least 11,354 people had gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Most of these vaccinated individuals were kids between the 5 to 11 age group, who had recently gotten the green light for vaccination. This was the highest number of first doses to be administered in a day since October 3rd. on Thursday, a booster shot was also administered to about 7,630 Israelis, which is also the highest number to be seen since the end of October. According to the numbers of the Health Ministry, the first dose of the vaccine has been administered to 6,493,317 people in Israel, the second dose to 5,868,003 and a booster shot has been given to 4,184,491.
In recent weeks, schools throughout the country have been hit the hardest by new cases. This pushed the coronavirus cabinet to authorize a new set of restrictions on Thursday, which would require schools with high infection rates to switch to online learning. Thousands of students have been forced into quarantine after getting exposed to infected classmates. However, the Health Ministry has delayed the campaign for administering the fourth shot of the COVID-19 vaccine to at-risk and elderly people for now, which had initially been planned for Sunday.
The campaign hasn’t been approved by the director-general of the Health Ministry, Nachman Ash, as he has been examining data from Britain, which indicates that the Omicron variant may be contagious, but doesn’t cause severe illness like Delta. Preliminary data has disclosed that people who test positive for Omicron are 50 to 70% less likely to require hospitalization, as opposed to people suffering from the Delta strain. These findings add to increasing evidence that the Omicron variant only causes mild illness, even if it spreads faster and can evade vaccines.