Over half of the elderly coronavirus patients in Israel hail from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector, almost four times their relative part in the population, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry said 3,266 out of 6,061 current active elderly patients across the country, constituting 52%, are from the ultra-Orthodox sector. Of the 587 elderly patients who are currently in serious condition, 88 are ultra-Orthodox, making up 15%.
The ministry's latest virus figures also show a decline in contagion rate, which now stands at 7%. On Monday, of 47,136 tests conducted, 3,097 came back positive.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel, 2021 patients passed away due to complications related to COVID-19.
There are currently 51,250 active coronavirus carriers in Israel and 1,483 COVID-19 patients are receiving treatment across the country's hospitals. At least 801, of whom 242 patients receiving respiratory assistance from ventilators.
The Haredi Institute for Public Affairs analyzed data provided by the Health Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and found that the COVID-19 death rate in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak among senior citizens is much higher than the national average by a similar margin.
The institute's researchers have found that the number of people aged 75 and over who died of COVID-19 in Bnei Brak is 12.9 fatalities per 1,000 inhabitants on average, compared to the national average which stands at 3.3 per 1,000 inhabitants or the average in Tel Aviv, standing at 2.9 fatalities per 1,000 habitants.
In people aged between 70 and 74, the death rate in the ultra-Orthodox city is 4.9 fatalities per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the national average of 0.8. The margin is smaller among people aged 65-69, with 1.7 to 0.4 fatalities, respectively, and 0.8 to 0.2 fatalities in people aged 60-64.
The Health Ministry's ultra-Orthodox information center revealed COVID-19 morbidity data of people aged 65+ as part of a new campaign launched Tuesday morning in the sector's press to tackle the widespread notion within the community that disregards for health guidelines is not dangerous since it is a relatively young population that aims to protect its elderly.
The head of the ministry's ultra-Orthodox information center, Avi Blumenthal, urged the ultra-Orthodox community to observe the health guidelines to save lives.
"We wish to shatter the misconception that there is no danger, ask the elderly to care of themselves and appeal to the conscience of young people to ask them to observe the guidelines so as not to infect those at risk," Blumenthal said. "Those aged 65+ are our grandmothers and grandfathers, our mothers and fathers."