Israel’s Coronavirus Infection Rate Ebbs for the First Time in Months2 min read
On Wednesday evening, the Health Ministry reported that the reproduction rate ‘R’, which is the number of people infected by every carrier, has declined to 0.95. At the start of the week, this rate had been around 1.05, which was already a decline from the previous week. The good news was first disclosed in a Tweet on Tuesday by Professor Eran Segal, who advises the government and works at the Weizmann Institute of Science as a computational biologist. He revealed that the decline was not because of fewer tests being conducted because the number of tests conducted in the last two days was the same as that of a week ago.
According to him, the number of new patients and those in severe condition has declined, as has the percentage of positive tests. There were 678 people in serious condition on Wednesday evening, including 171 intubated patients. Since Sunday, there had only been an increase of one in the number of serious cases, but 17 new serious cases had emerged on Wednesday evening. On Tuesday, the total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus was around 6,780 out of 95,155 tests that were conducted. This indicates a 7.22% positivity rate. Before Rosh Hashanah, the positivity rate had been around 5.31%.
As per predictions that were made by researchers around two weeks ago, the coronavirus infection rate seems to be heading in the right direction. These Hebrew University researchers advise the coronavirus cabinet and said that if their most optimistic forecast turns out to be true, then the number of daily new cases in Israel would decline to 2,000 by mid-October. As for the worst-case scenario, the number of total daily cases would be around 4,000. While it appears that the fourth wave is coming under control, tens of thousands of citizens decided to take advantage of the pleasant weather to go hiking and walking in the many national parks in the country.
Photographs were published on social media showing families hanging out after the government had decided not to lock down the country for the Jewish New Year. Almost 200,000 hikers visited the national parks and nature reserves over the holiday. Moreover, around 5,000 people also slept in the night lots near the trails. Passerby and police also complained regarding long lines and traffic backups around some of the coronavirus testing centers in the country over the holiday. There were cars lined up for their turn and some had to wait for as long as four hours.
Nitzan Horowitz, the Health Minister, informed the public that the testing centers were instructed to stay open till midnight for accommodating those who wished to get screened before they return to school or work the next day. However, the minister did emphasize that the long lines were just for conducting PCR tests. There wasn’t any line for the rapid testing complexes (antigen) and results are provided on the spot. The test is also applicable for use in the ‘Green Pass’ system that Israel has developed.