On Wednesday morning, Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said that a new record for daily cases of the coronavirus was established as 71,593 cases were diagnosed. According to Ash, the total number of patients in serious condition was around 526 on Wednesday, while the number had stood at 498 on Tuesday evening. No updates had been made by the Health Ministry between Sunday and Tuesday to their COVID-19 data dashboard. The ministry said that this was because of technical issues and it seems that the problems were still persisting on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, reports indicated that the health ministry officials were considering removing the quarantine requirements for children who are exposed to an infected individual, but are asymptomatic. Salman Zarka, the coronavirus czar who is leading the national response of Israel to the pandemic, had a meeting with pediatric doctors for discussing changing the isolation policies that have currently confined thousands of kids at homes. Yifat Shasha-Biton, the Education Minister, who is also a member of the coalition also penned down an opinion piece in which she said that she was ‘fighting’ the policies of the government regarding the isolation of children. At least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine has been administered to about 24% of 5 to 11-year-olds and two doses have been given to at least 12%.
There has been an increase in the number of serious cases, with officials scrambling to adjust their response to the highly contagious Omicron variant. This has led to a massive number of infections seen in recent weeks, but the number of deaths is lower than the previous variants. One of the members of the coronavirus cabinet and a computational biologist, Eran Segal said that Israel could be reaching its peak in the fifth wave of infections. Segal said that they were reaching the peak of morbidity in the next few days, or it could happen in a week’s time, if it hadn’t happened already.
He added that the actual number of people infected was likely twice more than what the data indicates, which means that it is possible that the total number of daily cases in the country is around 200,000 by now. Some of the people who were recently infected included Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Yulia Malinovsky, the Yisraeli Beytenu MK and Gila Gamliel, the Likud MK. Lion said that he was feeling well, even if he had gotten infected ‘fashionably late. Meanwhile, a package was announced by Chili Tropper, the Culture Minister, and Avigdor Liberman, the Finance Minister, for the arts world on Wednesday.
This package will give institutions tens of millions of shekels, along with funds for art projects. This announcement came after protests were conducted by many in the world of culture about the problems brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Tropper said that the package showed their commitment to everyone part of the world of culture and acknowledgement of its importance in order to help them in getting through these tough times.