The COVID-19 infection rate in Israel is on the rise once more, according to the data published by the Health Ministry on Sunday. This comes two weeks after the school year began and as the High Holy Days continue. The infection rate, which is referred to as the R number i.e. the average number of people affected by each coronavirus patient, is currently at 0.96. The pandemic is contracting when this number goes below 1 and if it goes beyond 1, then it means the pandemic is spreading. The data from the last 10 days is used for calculating the number and it showed that the number had fallen to a three-month low of 0.81 in late August.
This was before the school year started and the third booster shot had been made available to the general population. The number had reached 0.96 as of September 1st, which was the first day of the school year. There has also been a fall in the number of coronavirus deaths in the country. 35 people had died from COVID-19 last Tuesday, whereas only 7 people died on Saturday. The number of severe cases also remains stable. According to the figures provided by the Health Ministry, there were 10,084 positive test results in Israel on Saturday.
The total number of tests conducted on the day was 155,871, which means that 6.6% of these were positive. The total number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the country is 1,168 and 697 of these are in serious condition. The number of patients in critical condition is 219 and patients on ventilators are 154. Over the weekend, 1,713 people who returned to the country had tested positive for COVID-19. Of these 19 people came from the United States, 23 from Austria, and 45 were returning from Moldova. The greatest number i.e. 1,439, had returned from Ukraine.
Thousands of people had flown to the town of Uman in Ukraine for Rosh Hashanah in order to perform the annual pilgrimage. According to the police, more than 200 Israelis who had returned from Ukraine had forged coronavirus tests, even though some of them had tested positive. The Population and Immigration Authority in Israel revealed that these passengers had tested positive before they had boarded their flights for Israel. The arrivals who took fake tests are suspected of forgery, fraud, and spreading an infectious disease. This is regarded as a criminal offense in certain circumstances in the country.
In other numbers, 279 teachers and 5,574 schoolchildren have also tested positive for COVID-19. More than 90,000 people who were tested on Saturday were school staff or students and 6.9% of these had come back positive. The virus has kept around 154,000 students out of school. Of these 42,809 are categorized as active patients, while the remaining are in quarantine because they came into contact with an infected person. Almost 25.5% of students have been vaccinated. COVID-19 testing centers in the country will be operating on Wednesday until noon, the eve of Yom Kippur. They will then be shut down till Friday.