• Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

Officials to Discuss Further Easing as Omicron Wave Ebbs

Feb 13, 2022

The data released by the Health Ministry on Friday showed that the Omicron-driven fifth wave of the coronavirus in Israel continues to ebb. Therefore, officials are expected to talk about lifting additional COVID-19-related restrictions in the next week. While the morbidity has declined gradually in the last few days, the number of patients in serious condition has remained elevated, as the numbers on Friday showed they were about 1,074. However, this was still down from the highest number of serious cases recorded on Sunday since the pandemic began, at about 1,259. Of the total number of patients in serious condition, there are about 267 people who are on ventilators.

The total number of people in hospitals on Friday was around 2,354 and ministry figures showed that 346 of them were in critical condition. The Health Ministry has also previously stated that serious cases seem to be more widespread amongst the unvaccinated individuals. There are about 361.1 serious cases for every 100,000 people amongst the unvaccinated, while their vaccinated cases have 30.4 cases per 100,000 people, in those aged 60 and up. On Thursday, the total number of new cases diagnosed stood at 27,723 and the number of active cases in Israel declined to 303,188. 

In the previous month, about 70,000 cases had been recorded on a daily basis, as per the weekly average, and the number of active cases had surpassed the 500,000 mark. According to the estimates of experts, the actual number of cases had been significantly higher. On Thursday, a total of 135,000 tests had been conducted and the positive test rate stood at 21.75%, which was a decline from a day before when the rate had been about 25%. There has been a constant decline in the transmission rate, which measures the number of people infected by a carrier on average. 

This ‘R’ number had reached 0.76, which is the lowest it has been since October. This value had increased to a high of 2.12 back in December when the fifth wave was at its peak but has declined since then. The total death toll in Israel is 9,431 and in the past week, about 285 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19 complications. This figure is a 28% decline in coronavirus deaths, as compared to last week. Media reports on Friday said that Health Ministry officials would discuss lifting some coronavirus restrictions in the next week, such as the recommendation of wearing face masks at outdoor gatherings. 

Since April of last year, Israel has not had a mandate of wearing face masks outdoors, but the ministry has recommended it when in crowds. They are required in indoor public areas. Green Pass requirements had already been relaxed earlier this week, as there has been a decline in the virus wave. People no longer need to present the document at restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, and gyms. However, they are asked to provide this document at indoor sites that have a higher risk of infection, like dance clubs and event halls. 

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