Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
A woman receives a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at Meuhedet Covid-19 vaccination center in Jerusalem, on August 24, 2021

For the first time since the beginning of June, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) coefficient of infection fell below 1, meaning that the fourth wave of infections in the country might be dying down.

The R coefficient on Thursday morning was recorded at 0.8.

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The number of patients hospitalized in serious conditions remained steady at about 680, with 160 of them on life support.

Professor Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and an expert on COVID-19 in Israel, noted that the drop in the R coefficient is the result of the administering of the third COVID-19 booster shot in recent weeks. Some 2.7 Israelis have received the third vaccination.

Segal also pointed to a 20% decline in new daily critically ill patients, from about 100 a day to about 80.

“This is the most reliable measure indicating that (at least for now) Israel’s fourth wave is on its way down. Let’s hope it continues, now that schools opened and that the Jewish holiday season started,” he said.

Only 3,247 new cases were registered on Wednesday, and 5.44% of the 60,000 tests done returned positive. The low numbers can be attributed to the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Israel’s school system opened nine days ago, and some 145,000 students are currently in quarantine, of them some 42,000 are active cases.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 7,279 Israelis have died of COVID-19, including over 200 since the beginning of September.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.