Israel sees hundreds of new Omicron cases, with suspected first death

Health Ministry says 84-year-old victim was fully vaccinated; hospitals treating 8 patients for variant, with one critically ill and another in serious condition — both have yet to receive their first shot

The Health Ministry Tuesday evening reported that 623 new Omicron cases have been detected, raising Israel's total infections from the new variant to 1,741 — out of which 1,004 tested for the strain after returning from abroad.
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  • Hospitals are currently treating eight patients for Omicron, with one in critical condition and another seriously ill — both of which are unvaccinated.
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    מחלקת קורונה בית חולים שיבא תל השומר
    מחלקת קורונה בית חולים שיבא תל השומר
    Sheba Medical Center's coronavirus ward
    (Photo: AFP)
    The ministry also reported that an 84-year-old woman who has passed away due to coronavirus complications is suspected of being infected with Omicron. It was also reported that she was fully vaccinated.
    Earlier on Tuesday, Israel reported nearly 3,000 new daily coronavirus cases diagnosed the previous day, the highest the tally has been in almost three months.
    The Health Ministry said that 2,952 tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday after 126,000 tests had been conducted. The ministry said one in every 42 tests returned a positive result, indicating a 2.35% positivity rate.
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    נבדקים במתחם בדיקות בירושלים
    נבדקים במתחם בדיקות בירושלים
    A drive-thru coronavirus testing facility in Jerusalem
    (Photo: EPA)
    The virus's reproduction number, R, stands at 1.47. The number indicates the average number of secondary infections produced by a single virus carrier.
    But, hospitals have not reported an increase in hospitalizations, with 137 people currently receiving treatment. At least 85 patients are in serious condition and 38 are on ventilators.
    Nearly 86% of all seriously ill patients did not receive the coronavirus vaccines at all, according to the ministry, while of the under 60 age group in hospitals, 96% were unvaccinated.
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