The coronavirus infection rate in Chareidi cities has risen to alarming rates in recent weeks and health officials believe that the mutated virus variant originally found in the UK is the reason for the rise.
Senior Health Ministry officials claim that the mutated virus made its way to Israel several weeks ago and is the reason for the rise in morbidity in the sector. Prior to the recent rise in infection, the Chareidi sector had the lowest infection rate since the beginning of the pandemic.
The new variant is believed to be 70% more transmissible than the original variant. It was confirmed last week that at least one of the mutated virus patients was a resident of Bnei Brak.
Dr. Adina Bar-Chaim, the head of the laboratories at Assaf HoRofeh Hospital, where 49 cases of the virus variant were identified, told The Jerusalem Post that she believes that the mutation has spread to a number of areas in Israel, including Bnei Brak, which has suffered an inexplicable surge in cases in recent weeks. There were 2,000 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the Charedei sector over Shabbos alone.
According to Health Ministry data published on Sunday, all the Chareidi cities in Israel are now “red” zones, with the city of Beitar Illit the most “red” – 10 according to the “traffic light” plan. Other Chareidi areas with high infection rates are: Givat Zeev (9.9), Telzstone (9.7), Bnei Brak (9.3), Modiin Illit (9.1), Rechasim (9.1), Elad (8.9), Beit Shemesh (8.2), and Jerusalem (8).
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)