A leading advisor of the Israeli government on COVID-19 policy and a part of the Weizmann Institute, Prof. Eran Segal said on Saturday that there could be less than 1,000 cases of hospitalized coronavirus patients as early as next week. This prediction comes as the Omicron variant-driven wave in the country continues to ebb. Segal said that infections were likely to continue their downward trend and the number of cases per day could decline to 10,000 to 20,000 per day in the next week. He went on to say that by the end of next week, there will only be less than 1,000 cases to be found in hospitals, and this number could be close to 800.
In the last few days, the morbidity in Israel has declined gradually, but the number of patients in serious conditions has remained elevated. According to the data from the Health Ministry, this figure stood at 1,048 on Saturday. However, this was certainly lower than the 1,259 figure that had been recorded on Sunday, which is the highest it has ever been since the onset of the pandemic in Israel. There are about 270 patients on ventilators of the total number of people who are in serious condition. On Saturday, the number of patients who were admitted in hospitals was around 2,339, and ministry figures indicated that 336 of these were in critical condition.
According to the Health Ministry, the unvaccinated individuals in Israel are reporting far more serious cases than their vaccinated counterparts. In patients belonging to the 60 and above category, there are 28.8 serious cases for every 100,000 people who are vaccinated and 349.2 for their unvaccinated peers. On Friday, the total number of new cases that were diagnosed was around 22,360 and the number of active cases of the coronavirus in Israel had declined to 298,454.
In the previous month, the number of active cases had gone beyond the 500,000 mark and the number of cases diagnosed daily on average had been 70,000. However, experts have stated that the true number of cases may have been significantly higher. On Saturday, Segal said that almost half of the 9 million population of Israel would likely have been infected in the fifth wave of infections driven by the Omicron variant. The data from the Health Ministry shows that in recent months, around two million infections have been diagnosed. Segal stated that the actual figure was likely to double of this number.
On Friday, there were around 100,000 tests conducted and the positive test rate stood at 22.76%. This marked a slight increase from the previous day when the positive test rate had been 21.8%. But, the ‘R’ number, which is called the transmission number, and measures the number of people a confirmed carrier can infect on average, has continued to decline. It has now reached 0.74, which is its lowest value since October. A value below 1 is an indication that the virus is abating. The death toll since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 has reached 9,458.