Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Itamar Grotto said on Tuesday that the ministry is demanding that the lockdown continue until the rate of positive results drops to 7%.
“We must consider the rate of infection and not the number of confirmed cases which is an outcome of the number of tests carried out,” Grotto said.
“The R rate [the number of new people infected by a person with the virus] must be brought down to below 1, while we of course continue to monitor the number of seriously ill cases in hospitals.”
Grotto also said on Tuesday that Israel’s system of epidemiological investigations is the best in the world. “We’re getting calls from other countries wanting to learn our system,” he told Ynet.
Hebrew University professor Yinon Ashkenazy, who is part of the advisory panel on the coronavirus pandemic to the Health Ministry, warned the government on Tuesday that 800 seriously ill coronavirus patients, the number frequently cited as being the maximum Israel’s hospitals can reasonably treat, will be reached by the end of the week and there will be 1,600 seriously ill patients within three weeks. There are 668 seriously ill patients as of Tuesday.
According to the Health Ministry on Tuesday, Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem is currently operating at 143%, up from 129% on Monday, Sheba Hospital is operating at 119%, up from 100% on Monday, Laniado Hospital in Netanya is operating at 111%, and Kaplan Medical Center is operating at 121%.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the IDF on Tuesday to begin preparations to establish field hospitals for coronavirus patients.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)