Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS on 15 March, 2021

Israel Sees Lowest COVID-19 Numbers Since September

Health By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 18 March, 2021

Jerusalem, 18 March, 2021 (TPS) -- The decline of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Israel appeared to continue over the week, with infection data showing continued improvement.

The R coefficient, which indicates the spread of the virus, stood at 0.68 on Thursday, which means it is in retreat. Israel registered 50% fewer COVID-19 cases this week than last week.

In people aged 60 years old and above, who are more susceptible to the virus and who were vaccinated first, there have been 86% fewer cases, 73% fewer critically ill, and 91% fewer deaths since the peak of the third wave of infections in mid-January.

Professor Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and an expert on COVID-19 in Israel, noted that decline in the virus is seen across all age groups, and this with the economy nearly fully open, including shopping malls and culture events.

Israel’s school system is almost completely open, a significant part of the economy has reopened, and culture and sports events have returned to operate in a limited fashion.

“How to come out of lockdown after a major B.1.1.7 (UK variant) surge? Vaccinate like there’s no tomorrow,” he said.

Over 5,158,000 Israelis have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, some 55.5% of the population, and over 4.4 million Israelis – about 47.5% – have received the second dose.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu estimated earlier this month that by the end of April the entire adult population in Israel will be vaccinated.

The Ministry of Health updated Thursday that it documented 1,496 new COVID-19 cases over the past day.

Of the 78,854 tests done over the past day, only 2% returned positive.

579 of the patients hospitalized with Corona are in serious condition, 196 of them are on life support. The numbers here have been steadily dropping.

6,062 Israelis have died of the virus.