COVID-19 in Israel: 10,000 new cases, R rate stands at 1.05

10,665 new cases • Number of serious patients in slight decline • Death toll stands at 10,485

  Family members visiting a family member at the Coronavirus ward of Ziv Medical Center in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat on February 15, 2022.  (photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)
Family members visiting a family member at the Coronavirus ward of Ziv Medical Center in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat on February 15, 2022.
(photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

A total of 10,665 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Israel on Thursday steadying the trend of new cases, the Health Ministry announced on Friday morning, out of 90,887 tests administered. The positivity rate stands at 16.86%. 

The R rate continued its slight decline, currently standing at 1.05.

Cases began to rise again around mid-March, with the discovery of a coronavirus variant which is the combination of the BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants o SARS-CoV-2. On March 16, it was detected in two patients in Israel. 

While the variant has not yet been discovered anywhere else in the world at the time — it was found in the US a week later — senior Hadassah-University Medical Center physician Prof. Dror Mevorach responded to the news with a reminder that “every two to three weeks there is a new variant.”

The CDC announced on March 22 that the BA.2 subvariant was responsible for over a third of all COVID-19 cases across the United States. Cases also rose significantly in parts of Asia and Europe. 

 Ziv Medical Center, Safed team members wearing safety gear as they work in the coronavirus ward, Tzfat, February 1, 2022. (credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90) Ziv Medical Center, Safed team members wearing safety gear as they work in the coronavirus ward, Tzfat, February 1, 2022. (credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

Of the diagnosed cases, 262 are in serious condition, 113 are in critical condition, 91 are intubated and 18 are connected ECMO breathing machines. The number of serious cases has been in a slight decline over the past week. 

Major hospitals across Israel are over their capacity limit for patient care. Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) in Tel Aviv is at 110%, the Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital is at 108% and the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva is at 102%. 

So far, 761,181 Israelis received their fourth coronavirus vaccine shot, while 4.4 million received their third, 6.1 million received their second and 6.7 million received their first. 

The death toll stands at 10,485.