One of the top virus statisticians in Israel said that the current COVID-19 wave in the country has almost reached its peak and there will soon be a decline seen in the number of daily infections. There has already been a drop in the transmission number, also known as the ‘R’ number, which infects the number of patients infected by a coronavirus carrier on average. It has come down to 1.06, while it had stood at 1.46 almost a month ago.
Since this number is calculated based on the data 10 days ago, experts believe that it is possible the number has already gone below 1. This would mean that infection rate is shrinking.
Peak has almost arrived
Hebrew University’s Prof. Nadav Katz stated that Israel has almost approached the peak of the wave, or could already be past it. He said that hospitals would continue to see some pressure for another week or two, as people tend to become hospitalized a few days after they are infected.
According to the current statistics, there are about 1,165 patients in hospitals because of the coronavirus and the number of cases has reached 350. But, this is still significantly lower than the number seen in the winter wave and is below capacity as well.
Katz asserted that the number of patients would continue to rise for now because they have not reached peak there, but he added that it was unlikely to overwhelm hospitals. He added that even though it was still serious, it was not close to the situation that had been seen back in January.
The gist of the matter is that the current wave of COVID-19 in Israel is not as dramatic as the winter wave. The number of daily infections at the end of January had reached 60,000, while the moving average currently is around 10,000.
Furthermore, the number of serious cases in the last days of January had been around 1,100, which is triple the number seen today. But, many experts have also added that there is a strong possibility of lots of cases not being reported in the current wave.
Serious cases and death
However, Katz was quick to note that serious cases and death are the major concern for health systems and these figures were lower in the current wave than earlier. Since early April, the average number of weekly deaths due to COVID-19 has remained in the single digits. Currently, this number is at six.
According to Katz, the mortality rate is significantly lower as opposed to the number of infections. He said that vaccines had played a key role in keeping mortality low. The expert said that the rates of deaths and serious illness were lower because of a combination of reasons.
He said these included vaccination, people at high risk taking precautions, better treatment and also because the new variants of the virus have a weaker ability to cause any serious illness. Therefore, he said that Israel could soon put this wave behind.