Second coronavirus wave under control, say Israeli researchers

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Health care workers in Modiin Illit testing for coronavirus, July 29, 2020. (FLASH90/Yossi Aloni)
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Hebrew University researchers say the stable number of patients in serious condition shows control of the second wave has been achieved.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A report by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Thursday says the number of coronavirus patients in serious and moderate condition has stabilized, showing control appears to have been achieved over the second wave of infections, Channel 12 reported.

The research team that advises the government recommended not imposing further restrictions at this stage, but they stressed in their report that the focus should be on continuing to stop the chains of infection.

Against the background of the optimistic report, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein discussed the possibility of lifting the ban on opening shops and malls on weekends, but the decision still requires government approval, Channel 12 said.

“The measures taken to curb the epidemic in early and mid-July have led to a significant decrease in the rate of infection and an increase in the number of inpatients,” the Hebrew University researchers stated. “The fear of a state of insufficiency in hospitals is significantly removed,” although the researchers estimated that 200 more people are expected to die in the next three weeks due to the widespread wave of morbidity in July.

However, the infection rate is still high, with the Health Ministry reported Friday morning there were 1,786 new infections in the past 24 hours. Daily infections have been hovering around the 2000 mark for the past week with no significant drop yet.

The number of patients hospitalized with corona has averaged around 750 for the past five days and has not gone much higher.

As of Friday , 746 Israelis were hospitalized with coronavirus, with 319 in serious condition. That’s up only 20 in the past week and down 11 from Thursday, whereas a month ago there were only 65 in serious condition. The increase of roughly 100 seriously ill patients each week appears to have tapered off.

To date, 509 Israelis have succumbed to the pandemic, and there are currently 26,260 active cases in the country.

The researchers advised the government against imposing stricter measures, saying the improvements appeared to be a result of a ban on large gatherings.

In comparing the infection rate between the first and second waves of the number of people in serious condition, the Ministry of Health found that the relative increase in the number of corona patients hospitalized in critical condition was halted.

Channel 12 reported it had obtained an internal Health Ministry document that showed data corresponding to a 45-percent decrease in the number of critically ill patients compared to the first wave, with an 80-percent drop in patients needing ventilators and a corresponding drop in deaths compared to the previous wave.

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