Israel expects to soon break its own record of its number of seriously ill COVID cases, Channel 12 News reported on Tuesday evening, based on Health Ministry sources.
The number of seriously ill cases has soared by eight times in less than a month, from 101 at the beginning of the month to 905 as of Wednesday afternoon, including 245 critically ill patients of whom 189 are ventilated. It’s the highest number since February of last year during Israel’s third wave, when the number of seriously ill patients reached 1,200.
Hospital directors have warned Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash that the increasing overload in coronavirus wards is straining their capability to provide a reasonable level of care. Furthermore, there’s currently a shortage of staff in COVID intensive care units.
“The situation today is that due to the huge overload on COVID wards and the unprecedented shortage of doctors and nurses in quarantine, there’s already a severe deterioration in the quality of medical care for COVID patients in severe condition and the seriously ill in general,” one hospital director said. “In general, this is the worst situation we’ve been in since the beginning of the pandemic, and we have only just begun to count the dead.”
Prof. Ofer Marin, the director of Shaarei Tzedek, told Kan News: “Each time we say we’ve reached a new high but yesterday the number of patients was the highest in the last two years. The staff is at home [in quarantine] but meanwhile, we have to treat even more patients in the staff’s cafeteria.”
The director of Soroka Hospital said: “Another COVID ward was opened today due to the high rate of cases in the past 24 hours…Hundreds of staff are in quarantine and we’ve been forced to reduce our scope of operations. As of today, we have six COVID wards and ICU units.”
Health Ministry officials say that although Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered an increase in the number of beds, the Finance Ministry continues to oppose it.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)