COVID-19 in Israel: 33,374 new cases, 1,263 in serious condition

The number of serious cases continues to climb, reaching 1,263 on Saturday, after breaking Israel’s all-time record for serious cases since the start of the pandemic a day prior.

 Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a covid-19 drive through testing complex in Modi'in, February 1, 2022. (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a covid-19 drive through testing complex in Modi'in, February 1, 2022.
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

A total of 33,734 new daily coronavirus cases were recorded on Saturday, according to a Sunday morning Health Ministry update, with a positive return rate of 28.79% for the 115,904 PCR and antigen tests taken throughout the day.

The number of serious cases continues to climb, reaching 1,263 on Saturday, after breaking Israel’s all-time record for serious cases since the start of the pandemic a day prior. A total of 9,139 people have died from the disease so far, 299 of them occurring in the last seven days alone.

Three hundred and sixty-six people are considered to be in critical condition, and 291 are intubated. Another 19 people connected to ECMO machines. Of those in serious condition, 507 are unvaccinated, 125 are partially vaccinated, and 549 are fully vaccinated. The vaccination status of 82 patients in serious condition is unknown.

The R rate has fallen to 0.86 from 0.88 the previous day, continuing its steady decline, indicating that the peak of the Omicron wave has passed, although case numbers still remain high and serious cases have yet to peak.

Hospitals are still struggling under the burden the current coronavirus wave has placed on them, although the number of hospital workers in quarantine has dropped significantly since last week, currently standing at 6,225, down by more than 1,000 from the week before.

 Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a covid-19 drive through testing complex in Modi'in, February 1, 2022. (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90) Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a covid-19 drive through testing complex in Modi'in, February 1, 2022. (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

Rambam Health Care Campus also reported that it currently has 197 workers in quarantine, down from over 400 just two weeks ago. They also reported that while the workload in the COVID-19 ward is still heavy, they are seeing a gradual reduction from 140 patients last week to 110 patients as of Sunday morning.

Many hospitals across the country are still close to capacity, or in the case of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, over its capacity, with 107% of space filled.

Health Ministry data showed that the number of children and teens testing positive for the virus has remained relatively stable over the last week, despite concerns that the new school testing system would cause an increase in cases. So far, this has not been the case, although as the system was only implemented a week prior, it may be too early to tell.

As of Sunday, children from the ages of 5-11 accounted for the majority of cases in youths, with 10,836 total reported cases. In addition, 4,622 children ages 0-4, 4,390 teens between the ages of 12-15, and 3,465 ages 16-19 accounted for the remainder of youth cases.

On Sunday afternoon, Israel’s government approved an extension to the law allowing for the use of technological supervision among people self-isolating after returning to Israel from abroad. The law has now been extended until Wednesday, March 9.

At the same time, following Friday’s update that saw the majority of the Green Pass regulations rescinded, the government approved a move to rescind the Purple Ribbon outline that has been in place in commercial spaces and malls. Subject to the approval of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the decision will come into effect at midnight on Thursday, February 10.

The Israeli Embassy shared via social media on Sunday afternoon that a high-level meeting was held between Israel’s health experts and Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president of the United States.

“On the agenda: Israel’s success in stopping the spread of Omicron and our experience with the 4th vaccine doses. [It] was an important meeting for both sides,” the embassy tweeted.