According to the data from the Health Ministry, the death toll in Israel from the COVID-19 pandemic surpassed 10,000 on Monday evening. This somber milestone was recorded in Israel just as the second anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic is approaching and as the country is also nearing the end of the fifth wave of the coronavirus. About 10,001 people have died due to the coronavirus in Israel as of Monday evening, with 228 people losing their lives in the past week. The total number of deaths due to COVID in 2022 has already reached 1,750 so far.
Figures from the Health Ministry showed that nearly 52% of the deaths that had occurred due to COVID in Israel were of people aged 80 and above. Meanwhile, 76.6% of the deaths had been of people aged 70 and above. There has been a hot debate in recent months between officials about how many serious cases and deaths linked to COVID are directly related to the virus, or are just incidental to it. A researcher and immunologist affiliated with the Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Cyrille Cohen said on Monday that they still did not know enough about the virus to be certain of anything.
Cohen said that they could not give the correct numbers because they simply did not have enough experience. He said that there was a possibility that those suffering from a preexisting condition could have survived for another few years, but the coronavirus ended up giving them the final push. Last week during a briefing, Salman Zarka, the coronavirus czar, rejected the claims about numbers of COVID deaths being inflated. Zarka said that the virus is deadly for the elderly population. He added that after every death announcement, they get in touch with the ward and the hospital to discuss if it was because of COVID.
He went on to say that they only display the figures after they have reviewed them. Hadassah-Ein Kerem’s head of the COVID ward, Dror Mevorach said last week that most of their patients were the elderly and they had some pre-existing conditions. However, he said that due to COVID, a lot of them had seen their life expectancy shorten. While the milestone may be somber, there were continued indications on Monday that the fifth wave of the virus is ending in Israel, as the health statistics from the Health Ministry showed that the number of serious cases went below the 800 mark for the first time in a month.
The number of active COVID cases in the country had reached 120,713, as of Monday evening. There were about 1,657 patients in the hospital and 772 of them were in serious condition. The number of patients on ventilators was around 248. According to reports, government ministers are contemplating whether they should lift the indoor mask requirement in the coming weeks, but they have not made a final decision. Nitzan Horowitz, the Health Minister, said on Monday that he was in no rush to life the mask mandate.