Photo Credit: NIAID/NIH, Public Domain
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (blue) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (green), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The number of new coronavirus cases diagnosed daily continues to climb exponentially.

As of Sunday night, the Health Ministry reported there were 201 people hospitalized with the coronavirus. Most of the cases were linked to the Delta variant.

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Of those, 24 are in critical condition, with 19 of those requiring ventilators to breathe. A total 101 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in serious condition – a figure that had been 15 percent lower just two days earlier. The number of serious cases of the illness has doubled in the past 10 days. Currently there are 17 patients being maintained on life support.

In fact, there are more than 11,000 patients currently infected with COVID-19, including the nearly 2,400 Israelis who were diagnosed with the virus just this weekend alone – putting the infection rate at about 1.8 percent.

Less than a month ago – on July 1 – there were just 1,990 active cases of the virus.

In the month of July 2021 – with just over three weeks having passed – 29 people have died in Israel from COVID-19. Last month – in June – just nine people died of the virus, showing that deaths from the virus tripled this month.

Since the start of the pandemic, the death toll from the virus has reached 6,459.

More bad news: The Health Ministry reports that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is only 39 percent effective against the Delta variant of the virus.

The vaccine continues to be 91 percent effective against the development of “severe” illness and is deemed 88 percent effective in preventing hospitalizations among vaccinated Israelis.

A bit of good news: More than 5.7 million Israelis have received at least one shot of the vaccine, and more than 5.2 million Israelis are now fully vaccinated, having received both shots.

The not-so-good news is that 5,770 fully vaccinated Israelis have recently been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.