An Israeli man who returned from the United Kingdom unwittingly carrying the British coronavirus mutation infected 30 people, leading to an infection cycle ending with 700 cases, said Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the head of the Health Ministry’s Public Health division. on Tuesday.
According to the Health Ministry, a large percentage – about 40% – of current coronavirus patients have been infected with the British variant, which apparently has led to Israel’s soaring infection rate in recent weeks.
Israel’s Health Ministry confirmed on Tuesday over 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began, with a record number of 10,021 cases. There are currently 81,059 active virus cases, with 1,114 seriously ill patients, of whom 347 are critically ill and 277 are ventilated. The death toll has risen to 4,049.
“The number is astronomical, more deaths than during the Yom Kippur War,” Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told Ynet.
But Edelstein added that it’s a miracle that Israel has seen “only” a little over 4,000 deaths from the virus.
“This number could have been much higher, but hospitals have managed to keep it relatively low. However, people in the media and the public and political spheres and even some doctors downplayed the true danger of the disease.”
The grim data comes amid Israel’s third lockdown and the implementation of its speedy vaccination program. Edelstein said on Tuesday that a record number of 186,000 people were vaccinated on Monday, of whom 114,000 received their second doses and 72,000 received their first doses. Almost 2.2 million Israelis have received their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine and about 422,000 have received both doses.
The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that all Israelis aged 40 and up are now eligible to be vaccinated.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)