Israel posts nearly 13,000 new single day COVID cases as pandemic resurges

Health experts say unclear if spike in new cases indicates start of a new infection wave or remains left from previous wave; add removal of most health curbs will lead to more contagion

Adir Yanko, Yaron Druckman|
Israel on Monday reported nearly 13,000 new single-day COVID-19 cases as the coronavirus pandemic in the country appears to show signs of resurgence.
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  • The Health Ministry said that 12,869 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday after 63,000 tests conducted, indicating a 20.5% positivity rate.
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    בית חולים שערי צדק
    בית חולים שערי צדק
    A COVID ward in the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in January
    (Photo: Yoav Davidovitch)
    The virus' basic reproduction number, R, indicating how many people on average a single carrier infects, also rose and now stands on 1.23.
    There are currently 328 people hospitalized in serious condition, 31 of whom were hospitalized on Sunday alone, with 143 connected to ventilators.
    According to the ministry, 185 people died from COVID-related complications since the beginning of March and 10,431 since the start of the pandemic.
    The current spike in morbidity caused mixed reactions from health officials. "After two years since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we are prepared for any scenario," said Dr. Erez Barenboim, CEO of Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital.
    "We've learned that any closure of a coronavirus ward is only temporary. But we've also learned and improved professionally, and our ability to adapt to occurrences is quicker than before," he said.
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    מאהל בדיקות קורונה נתב"ג
    מאהל בדיקות קורונה נתב"ג
    Testing for COVID at the Ben Gurion International Airort
    (Photo: Tal Shahar)
    Dr. Adi Niv-Yagoda, an expert in public health and a member of the panel advising the cabinet on the pandemic, said that this was a time for health officials to show humility.
    "As of today, no one really knows if the increased morbidity indicates a new wave of the pandemic or is perhaps the remaining illness of the previous wave."
    Niv-Yagoda said that due to removal of most health mitigations, the single-day cases are set to increase even further.
    "The health system is able to deal with thousands of daily infections caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 but those at-risk must be protected and the testing for the virus at the airport must continue in order to detect new variants," he said.
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