25 Percent Spike in Serious Covid-19 Cases in Israel, PM Bennett Self-isolates

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Israel’s Health Ministry recorded 98 active serious COVID cases on Sunday, marking a 24 percent increase over the last eight days, as fears grow of an omicron wave overwhelming the country.

Of the new serious cases this past week, 75 percent were not inoculated at all, even though the unvaccinated account for only 31 percent of Israel’s population. Per capita, the unvaccinated suffer from serious illness from COVID at 10 times the rate of the vaccinated.

The R number, which marks the average number of people a carrier of the virus infects, has been steadily rising in December, and reached a three-month peak at 1.41. The figure reflects Health Ministry data up to 10 days prior.

In addition, the number of average daily cases almost tripled from 428 to the current average of 1,236 over the past five weeks.

On Saturday, Israel confirmed 591 new cases of the omicron variant, the Health Ministry, more than doubling the total number of confirmed carriers in the country, which now stands at 1,118 – up from 527 on Friday morning.

There are 861 other confirmed COVID cases in people who are known to have been exposed to an omicron carrier, but await lab results to confirm whether they indeed have omicron.

So far, 6.5 million Israelis have received at least one dose of the vaccine and approximately 4.2 million have received the booster shot.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s daughter tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, forcing the prime minister to leave a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights to enter quarantine.

Bennett had already tested negative for COVID earlier on Sunday, after it was discovered a staffer from the Prime Minister’s Office was infected with the virus, but he will now have to quarantine until he receives a further negative PCR test.

Photo – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds his face mask at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. EPA-EFE/RONEN ZVULUN / POOL

Read more via Haaretz

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