The first Israeli to die from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was reported Tuesday evening by Israel’s KAN News public broadcaster to be a 75-year-old patient in the coronavirus unit at Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Medical Center.
The man, who died Monday, suffered from pre-existing health conditions. He had received two shots of the coronavirus vaccine, with the last dose of the series received more than six months earlier.
Global health officials agree that a third, booster shot is necessary in order to maintain protection from the vaccine.
At present there are at least 341 cases of the Omicron variant in Israel, according to the Health Ministry, which said the majority of those cases (234) were people who had entered Israel from abroad, plus another 29 people who were in contact with those who returned to Israel. Another 66 people were infected in their communities, the ministry said.
In addition, more than 1,300 new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Israel within the past 24 hours, the highest number of cases reported in the country since October 2021.
A new outbreak of COVID-19 has been identified at a school in Ma’ale Adumim, according to a report by the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv newspaper. Of the 170 students who are infected, at least 25 are suspected of having contracted the Omicron variant.