Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90
Magen David Adom workers wheel a patient outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, October 06, 2020.

Haredi patients constituted 12% of the coronavirus deaths in Israel as of the beginning of October, while 16% of the deceased were from the Arab society. An alarming 15% of Corona patients in critical condition were from the Haredi society, and 24% were Israeli Arabs. This is according to data from the Military Intelligence Directorate published by the Health Ministry on Wednesday.

Police representatives have held talks with leaders of the Haredi public and warned them against holding mass events during the Sukkot holiday, but many enclaves chose not top cooperate and held large-scale Simchat Beit Ha’Shoeva celebrations where it was simply impossible to adhere to the rules.

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The police plan to continue the extensive enforcement of the rules in the Haredi neighborhoods, despite the violent outbursts in some Haredi centers (see: Police Arrest 17 in Clashes with Haredim as Govt. Extends Ban on Demonstrations).

The proportion of Haredim in the general population stands at 12%, the proportion of Arabs is roughly 21%. Public health experts expected a much lower rate of fatality among Israeli Haredim because the population there is relatively young and only 3% are age 65 and older. And it’s conceivable that those numbers would have worked in favor of the Haredi communities – had they maintained the social distance and uniformly put on facemasks. Alas, many of them didn’t.

Professor Ronit Calderon-Margalit, a public health expert from the School of Public Health at the Hebrew University, said that the data show that the rate of deaths among the Haredi population is about three times higher than their rate in the population at large.

Last August, Prof. Calderon-Margalit suggested there was a prevailing underestimation of the number of patients who were infected with Corona but never got tested. She gave the example of Bnei Brak, where the number of known verified patients reaches almost 5% of the total population of the city, while the percentage of positive test results out of all the tests performed there was 15%, “which implies that the number of infections is much higher.”

Data from the Military Intelligence Directorate report that was issued on Wednesday show that the morbidity trends in children in recent days are on an increase, especially in adolescents ages 12 to 17 in all the sectors. The data also show that the children’s morbidity intensified with the reopening of the education system.

The report also noted that most coronary heart disease sufferers endure persistent damage and lingering symptoms, even if the severity of their illness is low. In general, Corona symptoms can last for many months even after the disease has passed, and regardless of the underlying health condition and age of the patient, according to the report.

The report also states that in view of the extensive extent of the disease in the country, these ongoing complications may have a significant impact on public health, as well as heavy economic implications for the economy. Which requires that “efforts be made to curb the incidence of morbidity among all age groups, including young and healthy people.”

As of Wednesday, Israel has 61,606 active patients, 4,674 new verified patients, and 879 patients in critical condition. Since February, 1,803 Israeli patients have died of the pandemic.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.