On Wednesday, Salman Zarka, the COVID-19 czar, said that there could be a fresh wave of infections in Israel and he also urged people to get vaccinated before the arrival of the winter season.
The R number
The coronavirus czar spoke to reporters and noted that the basic reproduction number, which is referred to as the R number, was once more on the rise in the country.
He stated that it had climbed past 1 once more and by Wednesday afternoon, it had reached 1.12. This figure is calculated based on the data obtained 10 days earlier.
Its purpose is to highlight the number of people that are infected by every coronavirus carrier and if the transmission number is higher than 1, it means that the virus is spreading.
Zarka stated that the virus reproduction number had moved beyond 1 once more, which had prompted him to predict that this could be the beginning of another COVID-19 wave in Israel.
He went on to say that the current rise in infections was not a large one and they would continue tracking it, which will allow them to speak with more certainty in the coming week.
Zarka went on to say that they were preparing for the winter because there was a possibility of a wave of not just flu infections, but COVID-19 as well.
On Wednesday, the data from the Health Ministry showed that the last 24 hours had seen a total of 1,184 coronavirus cases identified.
Meanwhile, the total number of active cases in Israel stood at 9,411. Of the total number of tests that were carried out on Tuesday, about 10% of them came back positive.
The total number of coronavirus patients in serious condition was 98 and 42 of these people were in critical condition.
The death toll in Israel since the beginning of the pandemic has climbed to 11,667, with two people losing their lives to the virus in the last week.
Vaccines and masks
The coronavirus czar urged the people to get vaccinated and also said that new vaccines had recently been acquired by Israel.
Modifications have been made to these vaccines in order to help them in combating the latest variants of COVID-19.
He also added that people should not only get their coronavirus vaccine, but flu shots as well, as it is possible to receive both of them together.
He also recommended that people begin wearing masks indoors. The indoor mask mandate had been officially listed in Israel on April 24th.
This was one of the few restrictions that had still been in place two years after the pandemic had struck. The mandate had been implemented in April 2020 and lifted in April 2022.
During this time, there were only 10 days in June 2021 when Israelis had not been required to wear mask indoors, as the mandate had been lifted briefly.
However, it had been implemented once more because cases had risen again.