Israel: 70,379 Cases, 503 Deaths, Israel Has Gained Control Of The Virus, Hebrew University Study Says

Prof. Ronni Gamzu visiting the IDF's Home Front Command headquarters. (Photo: Defense Ministry)

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Israel’s Health Ministry reported 1,889 new coronavirus cases in Israel in the previous 24 hours, raising the number of active patients to 26,080, with 321 seriously ill patients, of whom 99 are ventilated. The death toll has risen to 503.

A Hebrew University report published on Thursday claims that Israel has gained control of the second wave of the coronavirus and is beginning to flatten the curve. The report says that the number of virus patients in serious and moderate condition has stabilized, attributing the improvement to the fact that the government re-imposed bans on gatherings and other restrictions in recent weeks.

“The measures taken to stem the pandemic in early and mid-July led to a significant decrease in the infection rate,” said Prof. Yinon Ashkenazy of the Racah Institute of Physics, one of the authors of the study. “Our measurements, collected from an analysis of the numbers of moderately and seriously ill patients, show a significant slowdown in the spread of the virus.”

However, the report warns that the death toll will continue to climb by another 200 deaths in the next few weeks as a result of the high infection rate in past weeks, which despite the optimistic report, has not seemed to significantly decrease.

According to a Channel 12 News report on Wednesday night, a Health Ministry document stated that the number of seriously ill virus patients is 45% less during this wave than the first wave and the number of ventilated patients is 80% less. The number of coronavirus-related deaths is also 80% less than the first wave.

The government was considering lifting the partial lockdown on weekends requiring businesses to close on Thursday, with the Health Ministry saying that a partial lockdown is not worth harming the economy. However, due to the opposition of Science and Technology Minister Yizhar Shai (Blue & White) and Chareidi MKs who wanted the restrictions on shuls to be lifted as well, the decision was pushed off until Monday, when the coronavirus cabinet is slated to meet.

The IDF’s Home Front Command will begin conducting contact tracing on Tuesday with a newly hired staff of over 1,000 trackers. The trackers are from various backgrounds and speak a variety of languages to better serve Israel’s various population sectors, Channel 12 News reported.

Below is a video of Coronavirus Czar Prof. Gamzu and Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir on a tour of the IDF’s Home Front Command headquarters on Wednesday night.

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal from residents of the Rechavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, where frequent protests have been taking place outside the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street, requesting that the protests end at 11 p.m.

Below is a video of an elderly resident of the neighborhood bemoaning how disturbing the protests are to him and his wife, who is in poor condition after two bouts of cancer, saying they can’t sleep due to the noise late in the night. “It’s been going on for months,” he said. “It’s a civil war, it’s horrible, I can’t understand why they’re doing this.”

About 1,000 Israelis took part in anti-Netanyahu protests outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem on Motzei Tisha B’Av. The Black Flag “Crime Minister” protesters chanted the now-familiar slogan, “Bribery, fraud, breach of trust” – a reference to Netanyahu’s ongoing legal woes.

Also in Jerusalem, a counter-demonstration took place on Thursday night at the First Station in south Jerusalem comprised of far-right protesters, black-shirted members of La Familia [fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team known for violence]. There they chanted “Death to leftists,” and “This is the Jewish state, I hate the Arabs,” and engaged in violence, leading to the arrest of 16 members for disturbing public order, attacking a police officer as well as journalists and photographers.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)