The Israeli government's National Information and Knowledge Center for the Struggle against Coronavirus published a report today stating that 47% of the patients for whom an investigation had been completed had been infected with the virus overseas, 5% at home when in close contact with a patient, and 35% in a confirmed encounter with a patient in Israel. The source of infection for 13% of the patients was unknown. The report analyzes the findings from over 50% of the epidemiological investigations conducted to date by the Ministry of Health, but it is based on partial information, and its results are therefore liable to change when the database becomes more extensive.
According to the report, the confirmed cases of infection following an encounter with a known patient show in which places significant infection took place, and which therefore cause a high risk of infection with the virus. The most significant place of infection was synagogues; 29% of infections in Israel took place in synagogues, followed by hotels (15%), restaurants (12%), and supermarkets (7%) (a total of 26% of infections took place in shopping centers and commercial food establishments). 7% of infections took place in stores, including the Red Pirate toy store in Or Yehuda, and 5% in yeshivot. 3% of the confirmed cases were infected in the educational system and 3% in senior citizens homes. Only 5% of patients were infected in clinics and health funds, the most vulnerable places in a health crisis.
Ministry of Health sources said that because of the surveillance means employed by the Israel Security Agency, there was no point in conducting epidemiological investigations when population groups at risk following an encounter with a patient receive a personal notice. The report's authors stress, however, "From our perspective, the epidemiological investigations should be continued and expanded in order to build an accurate picture that will make it possible to make informed decisions aimed at disrupting the spread of the virus."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 24, 2020
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