Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted repeatedly since his first briefings that “the State of Israel is ahead of the vast majority of countries” in combating the deadly coronavirus. However, on Monday night, he told a group of top officials that 10,000 Israelis could die from the coronavirus and one million could be infected.Was he exaggerating? According to Daniel Grupel, the head of Infection Control Services at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, the prime minister was not exaggerating.“If we don’t have good and effective public health interventions in place, at least one-third of the country or more could be infected with the virus,” he said. “One million is on the conservative side.”Based on the results of Israel’s increased testing, it does appear that the percentage of Israelis infected with the virus is growing.A week ago, on March 18, Israel had conducted 11,000 coronavirus tests according to the Health Ministry and 433 people had been diagnosed with the virus - 4% of those tested. As of March 24, Israel has tested 27,054 Israelis and 1,656 people are infected - 6.1% of those tested.“If we keep doing the same amount of tests and the number [of infected Israelis] increases, that means the virus is more prevalent or we are focusing our tests better,” explained Grupel. “Since we didn’t change the test prerequisites or population, it means that there are more positives in the population.”Magen David Adom medical director Refael Strugo explained that 4% is similar to the percentage of those tested who are infected, which can be seen in South Korea. He also said that if the percentage of infected people keeps rising to even 10% or 12% then Israel will become among the worst countries.“If we do 10-fold more tests than we do today, we will have to wait and see how many people test positive,” he said.Furthermore, a report by World ‘O Meters – one the leading coronavirus statistics websites, which pulls data from the World Health Organization – shows how the coronavirus is affecting 196 countries and territories around the world and demonstrates that Israel is not better off than all or even most other countries that have people infected.If one looks at the total number of cases per 1 million people, Israel is one of the worst. There are only 33 countries that have more cases per million than Israel, which means there are 162 countries that are doing better.But Grupel said that one must be careful when comparing data in this way. The bottom three countries on the chart are Myanmar, Syria and Somalia - places that are unlikely to conduct many (if any) tests.“We would need to look at the number tested per million and the prevalence of cases per million people together to be accurate,” he said. This information is not currently available.