Israel said Wednesday that 4,800 people tested positive for COVID the previous day, with contagion dropping to the lowest it has been since August.
The Health Ministry said after some 105,000 tests were conhe ducted on Tuesday, the contagion rate now stands at 4.6%.
The national R number - indicating how many people on average are infected by a single COVID patient - has also dropped and now stands at 0.83, compared to 0.91 just last week.
Despite the positive infection trend, the drop in the country’s R number has been attributed to the lower number of COVID tests performed during the High Holidays, and not to the actual decline of the pandemic - according to health officials.
There are currently 1,123 COVID patients hospitalized around the county, of whom 723 are in severe condition, while 152 are connected to ventilators. Israel’s COVID death toll reached 7,582 after 14 more COVID patients succumbed to the disease on Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to the Health Ministry, of all patients in severe condition, 495 have not been vaccinated against COVID, 152 received two shots only, and 56 received both shots as well as the booster. No details were given about the immunization status of 20 other patients.
These numbers show that, among those hospitalized in critical condition due to COVID, over 70% have not been vaccinated against the pathogen, compared to only 8% who received both doses as well as the booster.
Among patients in critical condition under the age of 60 - 244 have not been vaccinated, 37 received only two doses of the vaccine, while ten received the booster.
Those figures indicated that 84% of younger seriously ill patients were those who did not receive the vaccine, compared to 3.4% who received the third jab.
The Health Ministry added that 42% of all newly verified cases are aged 11 and under - an age group that is not yet eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.
The ministry added that the number of students who have been forced to stay in isolation after being diagnosed with COVID has dropped and now stands at 39,877, while the number of students who have been forced into isolation due to exposure to a verified patient now stands at 98,498.
The government, meanwhile, is preparing to implement an outline, according to which students aged 3-12 will have to undergo COVID testing as a prerequisite to enter any educational institution.
The ministry also said that 39% of those diagnosed with COVID on Tuesday hail from the Arab sector.
The Arab sector’s coronavirus czar, Ayman Saif, attributed these numbers to the education system in the Arab sector, which has remained open since September 1 - unlike educational institutions in Jewish localities, which closed for a significant portion of the month due to the High Holidays.