Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
Health care workers take test samples of Israelis in a drive-through complex to check if they have been infected with the coronavirus in Jerusalem, on January 05, 2022.

The number of daily new coronavirus cases diagnosed in Israel this weekend has jumped from close to 17,000 on Thursday to nearly 19,000 in 24 hours.

It’s not clear how many of those are cases of the Omicron variant.


Israel’s Health Ministry reported Saturday night on its website that 18,780 new cases of the virus were confirmed Friday out of 200,365 tests performed, bringing the total number of active infections to 106,107.

The positivity rate (percentage of those who tested positive) rose to 9.48 percent. The current “R” number, which reflects the number of people picking up the virus from others, stands at 1.95. Anything over “1” indicates the virus is spreading.

The ministry reported 172 patients listed in serious and critical condition, (63 in critical) including 49 who were being maintained on respirators and 15 more who were connected to ECMO (heart-and-lung) machines. In addition, 47 hospitalized patients were reported in fair (moderate) condition, and 229 were reported in good condition.

Twelve Israelis have died of the virus in the past seven days, the ministry reported.

Just a day earlier, there were 143 Israelis listed in serious and critical condition, with 42 patients being maintained on respirators.

The same day, 16,830 Israelis who were diagnosed with COVID-19 out of a total of 206,704 tests performed.

The seven-day average of children in quarantine as of Saturday stood at 2,741 children from birth to age 4; 10,059 children ages 5 to 11; 1,858 teens ages 12 to 15, and 1,140 teens ages 16 to 19.

Israel’s Health Ministry reported an average 4,733 children from birth to age 19 have been diagnosed with the virus over the past seven days. The seven-day average of children confirmed to be ill with the virus stood at 422 children ages birth to 4; 1,867 children ages 5 to 11; 1,330 teens ages 12 to 15; and 1,114 teens ages 16 to 19.

A total of 8,259 Israelis have died from the virus since the start of the pandemic.


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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.