Israel's coronavirus fatalities have doubled within one month, the Health Ministry reported on Monday.
At the end of July, 497 Israelis had succumbed to COVID-19. By the end of August, this number has almost doubled and stands at 922.
Experts warn that the pandemic could put a strain on the nation's healthcare system and its ability to treat virus patients the coming months which include the beginning of the school year, the High Holy Days and the usual seasonal illnesses
"Israel's current state is far worse than any outline or data will show," said Keren Shechter-Azulay, General Director of the Southern district at Maccabi Healthcare Services.
"September is going to be a crucial month, a period filled with holidays, prayer sessions in synagogues and family meetings. After that, the usual wave of winter sickness and schools will start influencing the number of virus patients. We must look at this issue right way, or else winter sickness will overwhelm us and cause a catastrophe."
Prof. Leonid Eidelman, former head of the World Medical Association, stressed that medical experts have been warning from the start that coronavirus is not just another flu.
"We have been saying this for eight months now," said Eidelman. "This is a severe illness that people die from and we must be prepared against it accordingly. Some of the patients currently in serious condition will die. It is important to not get infected and not infect other people."
"Even flu, pneumonia and other more resilient viruses kill thousands of people every year," said Shechter-Azulay, adding that many people lost their lives during the pandemic due to improper treatment or due to fear of going to a hospital and contracting the virus there.
Prof. Eidelman said that it is important to help and bolster healthcare providers and communal clinics.
"The healthcare providers are doing a very important job," said Eidelman. "Many coronavirus patients received homecare, recovered from the illness and were able to return to work healthy."