Israel Will Have New Virus Wave But With Milder Cases, Virus Expert Says

A coronavirus ward at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed (Photo: AP)

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Israel will experience a surge in virus infections this month as the economy is reopened but will likely see less serious cases, according to Prof. Eran Segal, who developed Weizmann Institute’s prediction model for the spread of COVID in Israel.

“Already in January, we said that March will see a rise in infections, but due to the vaccines, we will see less serious patients,” Segal told Ynet.

Segal noted that a report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center that stated that the vaccines are 88% effective in decreasing the virus spread was based on data recorded while mask-wearing and social distancing are mandated by the government.

“If we will see any serious change in the public’s adherence to restrictions, we risk losing this effectiveness,” he warned.

Segal said that the plan to reopen Israel’s economy should proceed despite the gradual rise of Israel’s reproduction number in recent days.

“It is possible that the vaccines are capable of counterbalancing the increase in the R number as a result of the economy’s reopening,” he said. “Before the vaccination drive, about 70% of serious patients were over 60 and now it completely turned around – over 70% of hospitalized patients are under 60.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


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