Israel sees highest number of serious cases in 4th wave of pandemic

Infection rate drops slightly to 5.44% compared to over 6% throughout last week; 104 patients connected to ventilators; cabinet to meet on reopening schools and vaccination of students during school hours

Israel on Sunday saw its highest tally of serious coronavirus cases since the start of the fourth infection wave.
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  • The Health Ministry said 666 patients are in severe condition, out of whom 104 are connected to ventilators.
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    מחלקת הקורונה בבית החולים צפת
    מחלקת הקורונה בבית החולים צפת
    Ziv Medical Center's coronavirus ward
    (Photo: Aviho Shapira)
    The ministry added that 5,312 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. After 99,036 tests had been conducted, the infection rate stands at 5.44%.
    The death toll since the start of the pandemic stands at 6,782 after more than 15 people succumbed to the disease over the weekend.
    In the meantime, 1,377,692 people have already received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, while 5,889,994 Israelis have received their first dose and 5,440,590 the second.
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    מתחסנים בחיסון השלישי בירושלים
    מתחסנים בחיסון השלישי בירושלים
    A woman receives her coronavirus vaccine booster shot at a clinic in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The coronavirus cabinet was set to meet on Sunday afternoon in order to discuss the reopening of schools, as well as whether students will be able to get vaccinated during school hours.
    The meeting, which was called at the request of Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, will include health experts and representatives for teachers, parents and even students.
    Ministers were reportedly set to approve the reopening of schools on September 1, as well as the outline presented by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last week, that grades 8-12 in coronavirus hotspots in which less than 70% of students have either been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the disease or have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, will learn remotely.
    There also seemed to be a broad consensus among the cabinet regarding vaccinations during school hours, with Shasha-Biton objecting - stating that inoculations should only take place before or after schools hours.
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    בית ספר בירושלים
    בית ספר בירושלים
    Students at an elementary school in Jerusalem
    (Photo: EPA)
    Last week, Health Ministry Director General Prof. Nachman Ash signed a directive that would allow vaccinating students against coronavirus during school hours.
    The order stipulates that schools will allocate an area within the institution's premises designated for inoculations, collect permission slips from students' parents, and hand them to medical teams who will, in turn, set up an appointment to administer the shot.
    The Education Ministry on Sunday reported that 26,443 students are currently infected with coronavirus, with 88,108 in quarantine.

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