Israel’s Health Ministry confirmed another 89 fatalities on Thursday morning, increasing the total COVID death toll to over 9,000 as the country grapples with an unprecedented surge in the infection rate spurred by the Omicron variant.
The current death toll of 9,013 means that one in 1,000 Israelis have passed away of COVID.
There are currently 2,753 hospitalized COVID patients, of whom 1,147 are seriously ill, which means that Israel will soon break its record of 1,200 seriously ill patients.
Meanwhile, Yisrael Hayom reported that directors of geriatric and hospice institutions are warning that due to insufficient government funding, the high occupancy rate, and the absence of hundreds of staff who are in quarantine, seriously ill COVID patients are receiving substandard care.
“The Omicron wave has hit the geriatric population very hard, harder than many of the previous coronavirus waves,” Dr. Galit Kaufman, director of Beit Balev, a network of assisted-living and rehabilitation centers for the Maccabi healthcare fund, told Yisrael Hayom. “It means that we need extra budgets, extra staff – and the government isn’t providing them. They are simply not addressing the situation, and that makes it almost impossible for us to accept additional patients who should be transferred to us from hospitals.”
Hebrew University researcher Prof. Doron Gazit told Radio103 FM on Sunday that “we’re definitely at the peak of infections but we’ll see dozens of fatalities per day this week.”
“We could have done more and we should have done more,” he asserted. “If you want me to get specific about state policies, the government is definitely tolerating deaths. I think that during this wave, as opposed to previous waves, we will see excess deaths.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)