A new study was recently posted by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, which revealed that the citizens of Israel suffered a 10% greater mortality rate from the months of March till December in the year 2020. Of course, this high mortality rate was due to the coronavirus pandemic that has taken over the country, as well as the world.
The report published further revealed that the increased mortality was not limited to people aged 75 and above only. In fact, it was largely observed amongst citizens aged 55 and over. This was an indicator that the elderly in the State of Israel were better protected against the coronavirus.
The findings also added that the life expectancy of people in the country was cut by at least 2.2 months on average. But, this figure is actually better than what was initially expected, despite the fact that this reduction is significantly smaller than those witnessed in other developed countries around the world.
During the pandemic, the spread of the disease has mainly been disproportionately concentrated amongst Israelis, who are aged between 20 and 55. According to the study, this trend indicates that the country was successfully able to shield its elderly from the virus. If the infection rates had been in line with the age structure of the people in the country, there would have been no less than 1,048 increased deaths in Israel.
In other news, Israeli authorities are quite alarmed by a new variant of the coronavirus, which has emerged in the country. This particular mutation is highly transmissible and has been found in around 20 countries around the globe. In addition, it can infect people even if they have previously recovered from the infection.
Scientists have reported that this variant, known as P.1, has different ‘constellations of mutations’ and has become very dominant. Out of 100 recovered people in the Amazon jungle city of Manaus, around 25 to 61 of them could contract the disease once again.
Though the research has not yet been peer-reviewed, it has been affirmed by Nuno Faria, who is an expert on the virus at the Imperial College London. She was a part of the team that conducted the research in the first place.
Furthermore, scientists have estimated that P.1 was 1.4 to 2.2 times more transmissible, as compared to the initial version of the virus. Nuno added that it is too early to conclude whether the mutation’s ability to evade immunity when it comes to previous infections, also means that vaccines will not be able to protect against it.
Faria clarified that though much cannot be said about the vaccine’s protective abilities, it is more than likely to protect against the disease, as well as infection. Scientists around the world have their guard up and are on the lookout for any new mutated forms that may pop up, or maybe difficult to fend off with the vaccines that already exist.