Israeli thought to have died from Omicron actually had Delta

Doctors considered him to be highly suspicious of carrying the Omicron variant, but the Health Ministry corrected the report.

 Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 23, 2021.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Shaare Zedek hospital team members wearing safety gear work in the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 23, 2021.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The Israeli who the country thought had died after being infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was actually carrying the Delta variant, Soroka Medical Center reported on Wednesday.

The 68-year-old man passed away on Monday. He was infected with coronavirus but was also suffering from multiple underlying medical conditions.

Doctors considered him to be highly suspicious of carrying the Omicron variant, but the Health Ministry corrected the report on Wednesday and said he was infected with Delta.

Soroka shared the news.

While there have been cases of people dying from and with the variant abroad, the man would have been Israel’s first case.

 Israelis leaving the country ahead of possible new restrictions due to the Omicron variant, on November 28, 2021.  (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Israelis leaving the country ahead of possible new restrictions due to the Omicron variant, on November 28, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry reported that another 170 Omicron cases had been discovered in Israel, bringing the total to 341.

Of the 341 Omicron cases, 234 entered Israel from abroad, the Health Ministry reported. In addition, 29 are individuals who were in contact with returnees, and 66 were infected in the community at three different events. The ministry said it was checking the origin of infection of 12 people.

At the same time, the number of daily cases has continued to climb, though most of the new cases have not yet been sequenced and are not confirmed as Omicron.

There were 903 new cases diagnosed on Tuesday, the ministry said Wednesday. A week earlier there were 701.

In the past seven days, some 6,167 virus carriers have been identified in Israel, marking a staggering 48% increase from the previous week.

At the same time, serious morbidity remained stable with only 80 people in serious conditions, a number similar to previous days.

Also on Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced that Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that has provided the vast majority of vaccines administered in Israel, extended the expiration date of some batches of vaccines in the country for three months.

The announcement came just hours after the Pandemic Response team ruled that anyone over the age of 60 and medical workers could receive a fourth shot of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.