With Restrictions Imminent, Serious COVID Cases in Israel Climb Again

The Health Ministry reported a rise in serious coronavirus cases on Friday as the delta variant continues to spread through Israel, though the overall figure of patients in serious condition remains low.

There are currently 81 people in serious condition – an increase of nine since the previous morning – 17 of whom are on ventilators. There are 167 coronavirus patients in Israeli hospitals.

– Israel goes to the Olympics with high hopes, American ringers and no Arabs

Israel goes to the Olympics with high hopes, American ringers and no Arabs

Although fewer people were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday – 1,263 compared to 1,336 on Wednesday – fewer tests were conducted, and 1.83 percent came back positive, up from 1.73 the previous day. No new coronavirus deaths were reported.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in preventing infection and mild symptoms has dropped to 40 percent.

Notably, the data might be skewed because a significant portion of the coronavirus tests in Israel were conducted in hot spots and among the elderly, while a smaller number of tests was carried out among the young and vaccinated population. One medical expert that is consulting the Health Ministry said that the data is still too distorted to make a reliable assessment of the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infection and mild symptoms.   

In light of the increased infection, the coronavirus cabinet approved new restrictions on Thursday, pending government approval, to go into effect next week. Events with over 100 participants – both indoors and outdoors – will only be allowed to include people who have been vaccinated, have recovered, or have a negative test result, if they are age 12 or older.

People will also be required to present a vaccination certificate at cultural or sports events, gyms, restaurants, conferences, tourist attractions, and houses of worship.