The introduction of new restrictions to disrupt the spread of Covid-19 now seems inevitable as Israel's third virus wave gains momentum. 2,802 people tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday, the Ministry of Health reports, down slightly from 2,891 on Tuesday but up over 50% up from 1,828 last Wednesday. Over 80,000 tests were carried out yesterday with 3.5% proving positive, compared with 68,500 tests last Wednesday with 2.5% proving positive. The R infection rate has risen to 1.32.
There are currently 400 people seriously ill with the virus in hospital, up from 310 last week, including 150 on ventilators, up from 113 last week. 366,186 Israelis have contracted Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, 4% of Israel's population, and 3,033 people have died, up 100 over the past week, the Ministry of Health reports.
Following the persistent rise in the number of new infections, the Ministry of Health is pressing the coronavirus cabinet to tighten restrictions including the closure of malls and street stores and all offices and businesses that receive the public. The cabinet has previously decided that such a measure would be taken if the number of daily new cases rose above 2,500 but so far such curbs have not been implemented.
Although the vaccination of Israelis is due to begin next week it is going to take several months at least until all Israelis in high risk groups have been inoculated against the virus.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 17, 2020
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