Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Shaare Zedek hospital team members wear safety gear in the Coronavirus ward, February 3, 2021.

Almost all the hospitals in Israel report occupancy of more than 120%. At the same time, there is an unusual rate—which many doctors say they have never seen before—of early discharges from hospital, Maariv reported on Thursday morning.

As of Wednesday, 58 corona patients are in critical condition at the Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem, 52 in moderate condition, and another person in mild condition. The wards are currently full, with more than 110 patients, half of them in critical condition. According to the doctors there, the bright spot at the moment is that fewer patients are arriving from outbreaks in nursing homes and geriatric institutions. Most patients come from other hospitals that have passed the peak of their capacity.


97 patients are hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, 65 of them in critical condition and 31 in critical condition.

At Rambam hospital in Haifa, 74 patients are hospitalized, including 31 on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation respirators (ECMO), 3 patients under the age of 40, and another 9 under the age of 50.

At Ziv Medical Center in Tsfat, 46 patients are currently hospitalized, including 14 in critical condition and on respirators, 22 in severe condition, and 10 in moderate condition. This means 116% capacity is taken up by Corona Intensive Care and 70% by the Corona Outbreak Department.

At Assuta Ashdod Public Hospital, 28 patients are hospitalized, including 18 in critical condition, 6 in moderate condition, and 4 in mild condition.

Shaare Zedek hospital team members wear safety gear in the Coronavirus ward, January 27, 2021.

Dr. Assaf Peretz, director of the corona department at Ashdod Hospital, told Maariv that the sooner Israel leaves the current closure, the sooner it will enter the next lockdown.

“In reality, there’s no change in the number of serious patients between today and the eve of the lockdown,” said Dr. Peretz. “The purpose of the lockdown was to minimize the number of serious patients. This goal was not achieved and the conclusion is clear: as long as the infection coefficient is static and stands at 1, exiting the lockdown would be irresponsible.”

“Unfortunately, looking at the data, it can be said with confidence that leaving the lockout in the current situation guarantees re-entry into a new lockdown within a few weeks,” Dr. Peretz added, concluding, “We should stop talking in terms of dates and start talking only in terms of the number of patients and the rate of infection.”

Dr. Or Goren, a physician from Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, told 103FM on Wednesday: “I think people don’t realize how different this really is from things we’ve seen in the past. There’s severe flu and severe pneumonia, but this (the Corona) is something unique and different. I go into the protected intensive care, I turn around and go through the patients one by one. I am 47 years old and I’ve put on ventilators patients who are basically me – thin, healthy, and without background illnesses. This is an extreme thing the likes of which we have not seen. The most extreme flu patients we’ve had would equal the average corona patient we have today.”

“We do what we can, but these are really patients who, for the most part, we can’t help,” said Dr. Goren, “except for trying to keep them alive until the body does its thing.”

According to the Health Ministry, 6,310 new patients were infected with Corona on Wednesday, and the rate of positive tests is 9%. As of Thursday, there are 1,085 corona patients in critical condition in Israeli hospitals, of whom 321 are on respirators. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 4,948 Corona patients have died in Israel. The number of vaccinated with the first dose has reached 3,297,502, and with the second 1,906,748.

Starting Thursday morning, people ages 16 and over are allowed to be vaccinated. But the Health Ministry has instructed the HMOs to focus their efforts on vaccinating people ages 50 and over, as well as people who are house-bound.

Preliminary data from an experiment conducted by the Health Ministry show that the Corona vaccine is equally effective against the British mutation of the virus. The ministry is encouraged by these results but emphasizes that so far they are based on a limited number of samples.

New data reveal that one shot of the Pfizer vaccine provides 90% protection after 21 days, according to a new study based on the immunization of the population in Israel. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia, funded by the UK government. However, it has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Oxford University has announced that it will conduct an experiment to test the effectiveness of taking two injections of two different vaccines.


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