According to the figures published on Thursday by the Health Ministry, the number of coronavirus patients in serious condition continued to fall, as it reached 403, which is the lowest it has been in the last two months. In another sign that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Israel is receding, the positive test rate for coronavirus cases had also fallen to 1.73% a day earlier. This means that Wednesday was the fifth day in a row that saw results below 2%, as compared to a month ago when it had been 7%. A total of 100,760 tests for the coronavirus were conducted and 1,732 of them came back positive.
The update from the ministry also indicated that the previous 24 hours had not seen anyone die from the virus, which was the first time to have happened since July. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the country remained at 7,959. The number of serious patients is considered an important indicator of the spread of the virus and officials have been looking forward to see the numbers go down. However, Nachman Ash, the Director-General of the Health Ministry, said that despite the positive data, they will not remove some of the restrictions because they want to prevent the spread of the infection.
Ash said that there was no doubt that the number of infections in the fourth wave of the coronavirus were declining. He also highlighted that health officials had been concerned about the beginning of the school year in September because they had thought it would lead to a spike in cases. But, it hadn’t turned out to be a setback as expected. Ash said that they had come far enough from the beginning of classes and the number of confirmed cases as well as serious patients has gone down. He added that they were on a downward track and this was a good thing.
According to him, the Health Ministry is trying to come up with ways for lifting some of the rules that were imposed for curbing infections, but they also don’t want another outbreak to happen. After all, restrictions had been lifted back in June rather swiftly and this had led to the current wave of the virus, along with the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus. He added that face masks would remain compulsory throughout the winter in public enclosed spaces. He said that it was a simple and important way of preventing infections, which includes the flu.
Likewise, other rules that restrict access of people to public spaces will continue to be followed for the time being. Citizens are required to have the Green Pass in order to gain access, as it confirms recovery from COVID-19, vaccination against the virus as well as a recent negative test of the virus. According to Ash, they were still assessing a plan for replacing the quarantine of school kids with daily tests after being exposed to the virus and they would see the results of the pilot program next week.