Every day in the last week has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases and this continued on Tuesday. The total number of COVID cases confirmed reached 43,815, which is the highest number to be recorded in a day since the pandemic first began in 2020. On Wednesday, statistics revealed by the Health Ministry showed that the positivity rate was about 12.09% out of the 360,038 tests that were conducted on Wednesday. This is the highest number since 29th September, 2020, when the positivity rate had reached 15.29%. The number of patients who are seriously ill has reached 254, which is one less than a day earlier.
84 of these seriously ill patients are considered critical and 63 of them are on ventilators. The previous day saw one more patient die because of the virus and this raised the death toll to 8,274 from the beginning of the pandemic. In the last week, the Omicron variant has been wreaking havoc across Israel, which left the country with about 222,877 active patients. Of the total number of active patients, around 198,276 had been recorded in the last seven days alone, which is three times higher than the week before.
Ministry figures indicated that due to this rampage, about 156,393 people are in quarantine, either because of infection or because of exposure. In recent days, there has also been a major outbreak in the Israel Defense Forces, as the number of cases have increased five-fold in the last week to reach a total of 7,395 on Wednesday. The military said that a ban had been imposed on the entry of civilians in IDF facilities and stricter protective measures had also been put in place on bases. On Wednesday, Yifat Shasha-Biton, the Education Minister, reiterated that she didn’t want to shut down the education system.
She said that experts had given their comprehensive support for keeping schools open. During a meeting on Wednesday, she said that more and more people understood that closures is tremendously damaging for the children because lockdowns have grave consequences. The coronavirus cabinet, which is a panel of ministers responsible for the virus policy in Israel, had a meeting on Tuesday evening. It concluded without any major decisions being taken. On Tuesday, the quarantine period had been shortened in Israel from 10 days to seven, but ministers had asked during the meeting as to why it wasn’t reduced to five days like the United States.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had reported told the ministers that the country hadn’t come to a standstill because of the number of active patients, but they would need to reassess the situation. Lawmakers have also been struck by the virus, as MK Ofir Sofer announced on Wednesday that he had been infected. Including Sofer, a total of 11 lawmakers out of 120 MKs have now been infected. On Monday, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced that they had tested positive. Mass vaccination has become the government’s central strategy in combating the wave of infections.