Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
The Hadassah Ein Kerem Coronavirus ward, August 25, 2021.

Health Ministry Director-General Professor Nachman Ash on Monday morning told Reshet Bet radio that “a lockdown during the high holidays is off the table, as long as the trend of a slowdown in the number of critical patients continues.” But Ash admitted: “We have butterflies in our stomachs before the start of the school year.”

Ash added that he fears that euphoria and carelessness on the part of the Israeli public would lead to a further increase in serious illnesses. According to him, the Health Ministry has long been recommending limiting gatherings to 500 people outdoors and 400 indoors, but this recommendation has not yet been accepted by the government due to opposition from the Ministries of Finance and Culture & Sports.

Israel’s Coronavirus Czar Prof. Nachman Ash (archive). / David Cohen/Flash90
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Regarding the expansion of the third vaccine for individuals age 12 and up, Ash said he hoped that everyone who had received two vaccinations would also take the third.

“We’ve realized that it’s no longer possible to rely on two vaccines to make people feel protected,” Ash noted. “Double-vaccinated individuals are less protected as time goes by and after half a year it becomes significant. I would like to see in the coming month that everyone who has been vaccinated with two doses will complete the third vaccine after five months,” he added.

On Sunday, 6,576 out of 87,225 tested positive (7.54%), compared to Saturday’s 7,071 who tested positive out of 102,935 (6.87%).

Around three weeks ago, Israeli health experts warned about terrifying scenarios, according to which the end of August would see between 800 and 1,600 patients in critical condition. But it appears that the third vaccination operation has significantly slowed down the serious morbidity.

As of Monday morning, there are 731 critical Corona patients in Israeli hospitals, 160 of whom are on respirators. On Sunday morning there were 726 critical patients, with 149 on respirators. 386 of them did not receive any Corona vaccine, 329 have been vaccinated, and 16 were partially vaccinated.

22 died of the Corona in Israel over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 6,990 since the start of the outbreak, in February 2020.

A Health Ministry senior official told Kan 11 News on Monday morning that there are about 100 new critical Corona patients in Israel every day, but these are not necessarily patients who were hospitalized on that day, but patients whose condition had worsened and became critical. The official noted that there are patients in critical condition out in the community and in geriatric institutions, who in many cases are not included in the regular, daily reports of the Health Ministry.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.