Israel’s reproduction number continued to rise, standing at 0.9 on Wednesday, raising concerns for health officials despite the continued decrease in daily virus cases and number of seriously ill patients.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Wednesday morning that despite the success of Israel’s vaccination program, with about 4.5 million Israelis vaccinated with at least the first dose, not enough of the population has been vaccinated for Purim to be celebrated without any restraints.
“In the Megillah, Am Yisrael, in an act of solidarity, fasted for Esther for three days,” Edelstein stated. “We don’t need three days of fasting now – just adhere to regulations. Do it for the business owners who just returned to work, for the cultural world, hotels, and education, for our health and life, for the children who can’t yet be vaccinated. Don’t go to parties or gatherings. Celebrate at home.”
שהחיסונים לא יכניסו אותנו לאופוריה. עדיין אין לנו מספיק מחוסנים כדי לחגוג בלי הכרה בפורים. התחסנו למעלה מ 4.5 מיליון איש, מתוכם 3,147,000 קיבלו גם מנה שניה.
במגילה, עם ישראל צם עבור אסתר 3 ימים, בשביל ערבות הדדית. לא צריך 3 ימי צום כעת. רק להקפיד על ההנחיות, למען העסקים והילדים. pic.twitter.com/HPjGUBTZgc
— Yuli Edelstein 🇮🇱 יולי אדלשטיין (@YuliEdelstein) February 24, 2021
Six young coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon overnight Tuesday, including three patients in serious condition, two children – an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl – and a 25-year-old man.
Three more pregnant women were also among those hospitalized, including a 19-year-old and a 25-year-old.
The IDF noted this week that there’s been a rise of serious coronavirus cases among its soldiers.
In a letter published by Yisrael Hayom on Wednesday morning, the IDF’s chief medical officer, Brig.-Gen. Prof. Alon Glazberg wrote: “Most of those serving in the IDF are young and healthy, and luckily, in the previous waves, only very few of them became seriously ill. However, it is important for us to share with you that we have identified a change in the trend. In the past few weeks, we are dealing with several IDF soldiers who are seriously ill, who required respiratory support and even hospitalization in the intensive care unit.”
The letter went on to describe a number of examples of young soldiers becoming seriously ill. “Unfortunately, there are other cases as well,” the letter continued. “The common denominator among all of them is that they all occurred in soldiers who had not been vaccinated.”
“Other than reducing the chance of serious illness, it is becoming more and more apparent that the vaccine reduces the chance of transmission.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)