Scientist at the Weizmann Institute and a member of the government’s coronavirus cabinet, Prof. Eran Segal stated that the Purim holiday this year would not be as stressful and case-heavy, as it has been in the last two years. Segal said that there would still be cases, but it would not be the same way as it has been. Since 2020 when the pandemic had first come to Israel, the Purim holiday has occurred in a very limited capacity because the virus was spreading back then. He went on to say that cases were in a decline for the third consecutive week and the decrease had been about 20%.
He added that he didn’t believe there would be another rise in cases in this current wave of the virus. On Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases diagnosed were about 23,555 and this was yet another continued decline in the number of cases. According to the data from the Health Ministry, the total number of active cases in Israel was about 178,118. The number of people in Israel who had received the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was nearing 700,000, as it stood at 699,505. Currently, the positivity rate in Israel has declined to 19.15% and the total number of people in quarantine are 35,854.
The number of patients in serious condition is 974 and 338 of them are critical, while 279 patients are intubated. There are also 931 patients who are in light condition, and 235 in moderate condition. Coronavirus patients who are connected to ECMO machines was about 27. The death toll in Israel since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 9,624. New data shows that four of the major hospitals in Israel have exceeded their service capacity. Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital and Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center are at 104% capacity, while Sheba Medical Center is at 107% capacity.
The capacity of the Ichilov Hospital based in Tel Aviv is at 109%. Furthermore, the government made an announcement on Tuesday that no COVID-19 test would be required from passengers who fly in from Ukraine. Since it has become a tense conflict zone, the foreign ministry has put a rush on flights. The passengers will be required to do a PCR test upon landing in Israel at the Ben Gurion Airport. This exemption will be in place till February 21st.
There have also been protests in Israel over the COVID-19 curbs that are still in place and hundreds of vehicles drove in a convoy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in protest. These were inspired by the demonstrations happening in Canada. There were also protestors standing at junctions and overpasses when the ‘Freedom Convoy’ passed by, with Canadian and Israeli flags and banners flying from vehicles. Protestors were also standing outside the parliament beating drums and sounding horns, while calling for lifting of pandemic restrictions. In recent weeks, Israel has lifted a number of restrictions due to declining cases, but some of them are still in place.