The last two coronavirus wards still open in Israel’s hospitals closed on Monday as infection and fatality rates continue to drop, Ynet reported.
Israel began closing its coronavirus wards several weeks ago as the national vaccination campaign began to dramatically reduce infection rates.
The remaining wards in the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera and Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Tiveria were closed and the remaining patients were transferred to the internal medicine wards.
At the pandemic’s peak, three coronavirus wards were in operation at Hillel Yaffe.
“I am pleased to announce we are closing down the last active COVID ward,” the director of Hillel Yaffe, Dr. Mickey Dudkiewicz, said. “We will now be able to allocate staff to deal with the increasing needs of our internal medicine departments, which have been understaffed due to the pandemic.”
The closing of the last ward at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center is of special significance as the first coronavirus patient in Israel who developed serious complications was treated there in March of last year after contracting the virus from a group of South Korean tourists on his tour bus.
“This is very joyous and encouraging news. We’ve just completed disinfecting the ward and look forward to resuming our routine work,” the hospital director, Dr. Erez Onn, said. “Our teams can now return to the busy internal medicine departments.”
On Sunday, the Ziv Medical Center in Tzfas also closed its last COVID ward.
“We’ve waited for this moment for over a year. I’m happy that we’re returning to our normal routine and that our battle against the coronavirus was successful,” said hospital director Prof. Salman Zarka.
The Health Ministry confirmed 148 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours on Wednesday morning, with tests showing a positivity rate of just 0.3%, the lowest level in nearly a year.
There are currently only 2,103 active coronavirus cases, with 288 hospitalized patients, of whom 174 are in serious condition and 104 are ventilated, the lowest number since July of last year. Two more fatalities were recorded, raising the total death rate to 6,345.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)