According to the data presented by the Health Ministry on Sunday, the number of people with COVID-19 who are newly defined as seriously ill has dropped significantly. This is certainly good news, but the coronavirus czar in Israel said that despite the falling numbers, it is still essential to exercise caution. On Saturday, there were 99 patients who had been classified as being serious, which is the lowest this number has been since January 15th. Back then, the number of people diagnosed as serious patients of the coronavirus had been 96. As of Sunday morning, the total number of people classified as seriously ill patients stood at 1,057 and about 269 of them had been put on ventilators.
On Saturday, the total number of new cases diagnosed in Israel was about 18,020 and according to the Health Ministry, this is a positive test rate of about 26.12%. This is definitely lower than the number of cases diagnosed on Friday, which was around 22,375. But, it is important to note that this only reflects the fact that a lower number of tests are conducted over the weekend. The number of tests that were conducted on Friday was about 100,000, while only 76,000 tests were conducted on Saturday.
As for the death toll, it has now reached 9,466 since the beginning of the pandemic. Even though there has been a fall in the number of new cases and a number of health experts have expressed a sense of optimism in recent days, Salman Zarka, the coronavirus czar expressed a more cautious approach on Sunday morning. Speaking to the media, he said that it was still too early to say that the fifth wave of the coronavirus is behind them. There had also been reports that the Health Ministry was considering easing further restrictions of COVID-19 such as the requirement of having to wear mask indoors.
Zarka also addressed these reports and said that they should not make any such decisions as yet. He said that there was a decline, but the case numbers are still too high. He added that it would take time for them to claim that the fifth wave is behind them. He also noted that the new BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron has managed to create a ‘wave within a wave’. According to Zarka, this raises some concerns about the future because it has slowed down the rate of decline in new cases.
The virus czar said that the coronavirus has shown that new variants can be created quickly. This means that even after the fifth wave, people cannot return to the lives they had before it ever hit. On Saturday, Prof. Eran Segal, an expert advisor for the government, said that there could be less than 1,000 serious cases in hospitals in this week. He further added that the number of cases would also decline to somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 per day. He said that the number of serious cases would go below 1,000 and even reach 800.