The number of positive tests in Israel reached a new record since last October, reaching 1,306 out of 104,334 who were tested on Monday. The infections coefficient continues to rise and is currently at 1.28. As of Tuesday morning, there are 81 Corona patients in serious condition in Israeli hospitals, 41 of whom are on respirators. So far, 8,232 have died of the pandemic since it broke out in February 2020.
According to the Johns Hopkins University website, there have been a total of 275,473,361 Corona cases around the globe since the outbreak. 5,361,469 have died. In the United States, 807,952 have died, 34,456 over the past 28 days. There have been 3,211,645 new cases in the US in the last 28 days.
According to a forecast by the Healthy Ministry’s professional staff that was presented to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over the weekend, within two to four weeks, thousands of people in Israel are expected to become infected every day with the Omicron variant. The ministry estimates that the infecting of thousands of people with the variant will cause its accelerated, exponential spread, as its rate of infection is three times that of the delta variant.
According to the ministry’s estimates, by the end of the week, the number of people infected with Omicron will reach 400 to 600. To date, 175 have tested positive for Omicron in Israel. An additional 380 are at a “highly suspicious” status, awaiting the results of exome sequencing for confirmation. Admittedly, the numbers are still relatively low, but the increase in the number of verified patients and the rising coefficient of infection have led some experts to estimate that there is already a latent omicron disease behind these data.
An agreement was reached Monday night between PM Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and senior members of the health system, on bringing back strict and broad Green Pass requirements. The remaining unresolved debate is over the limits on the size of crowds. Bennett wants to limit indoor crowds to 300, and outdoors to 1,000.
At a certain point, Ministers Orna Barbibai, Hili Tropper, Ayelet Shaked, and Tamar Zandberg were invited to join Monday’s discussion, and some of the ministers, as well as the health officials, argued it’s not certain that limiting gatherings while the economy and the education system remain open as usual would help reduce the spread of the virus significantly. They suggested that if limiting the gathering is shown to reduce the spread it should be considered, but since so far the jury is out on that one, better concentrate on the Green Pass and increasing vaccination. The Finance Ministry is also on the record as opposing crowd limits.