Researchers claim 1,000 to 2,500 more people will die during lockdown

A team of researchers from Hebrew U published a report predicting a significant increase in corona deaths * IDF report determines that higher corona numbers are not a result of increased testing.

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing seen outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, September 6, 2020 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing seen outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, September 6, 2020
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
A team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who monitor Israel's coronavirus infection rates daily, published a report Thursday that predicts a significant increase in the number of coronavirus patients and the number of patients in serious and critical condition. The report also predicts a significant increase in coronavirus deaths in the coming days.
The researchers stated that this is partially due to increased infection due to cross-generational contact during the holidays. The researchers went on to say that a realistic estimate for the period of the lockdown is an additional 1,000 to 2,500 deaths.
The report states that, “in light of the current numbers, we will reach the limits of the health system’s capacity in the near future, regardless of the lockdown. Until now, the numbers have been following optimistic models of infection, as expected and due to infections occurring primarily in the young population. But in recent days, there has been an increase in the amount of critical patients.”
Researchers also claimed that “it is necessary to have an effective lockdown in order to prevent exceeding these amounts, and gatherings should be limited with no exceptions.”
“Known infections represent the spread of the disease well,” claimed researchers, “predictions of the impact of an effective lockdown can be made based on the efficacy of the lockdown at Passover and lockdowns in Australia and Austria, and allow us to examine possible outcomes.”
The document was signed by Prof. Yinon Ashkenazy, Prof Doron Gazit and Prof. Nadav Katz from the Racah Institute of Physics, and Prof. Ronit Calderon-Margalit and Prof. Ran Nir-Paz from The Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine. In it, there are four conclusions:
1. The expected number of coronavirus deaths during lockdown is between 1,000 and 2,500. It is necessary to have an effective lockdown in order to keep the numbers within that estimate.
2. The analysis is based on maintaining the medical system’s capacity to care for patients and the plan to protect the elderly. Efforts must be focused on this.
3. It is critical to avoid infections between generations – something that would enable the number of deaths to be below those predicted. Gatherings should be avoided without exception.
4. It is vital to quickly develop an epidemiological response system to help minimize expected damage.

MEANWHILE, a report from the IDF determined that the higher numbers of reported infections are not a result of increased testing.
On Thursday, the information center of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate published a report on the dramatic increase in coronavirus infections across the country in the last two weeks. The report determined that the increase is in the general population as well as in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab populations.
The IDF emphasized that the infection is spread across the country in growing numbers and that along with a greater number of tests, the percentage of those testing positive is around 10%. This means that there is an increase in the amount of infected people and the higher numbers are not a result of increased testing.
The report also presents a significant increase in the amount of infection among youth (ages 14 to 19) that apparently is a result of the opening of schools. Unique characteristics of this population, primarily asymptomatic infections, increase this population's ability to be a driving force in increased infections in the general population, and makes slowing the rates of infection more difficult.
The increase in the number of patients in the past two weeks – approximately 20% – is another indication of the spread of infection, which strains the medical system. This supports the government’s decision to have a lockdown on the High Holy Days.
Thursday morning, the Health Ministry announced that 4,537 people tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday out of 52,597 tested, and an additional 531 tested positive Thursday morning. There are 235 patients in satisfactory condition, and the number of patients in serious and critical condition is 549. The number of patients on ventilators is currently 140.