Israel on precipice, nearing state of emergency: Daily corona cases spike to nearly 7,000

The number of total confirmed cases in Israel has crossed the 200,000 mark. Israeli ministers are now considering declaring a national state of emergency.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israel is heading in the wrong direction.

The number of daily confirmed cases spiked to 6,923. Yesterday, there were 3,858 confirmed cases.

The number of deceased was also relatively high – 31 in the last 24 hours – bringing the total dead to 1,316.

Important to note regarding Wednesday’s numbers is that they were the result of 61,165 tests to Tuesday’s 34,400 tests.

Nevertheless, the numbers are cause for concern as the number of total confirmed cases in Israel crossed the 200,000 mark, and the positive test rate increased from 11.2 percent on Tuesday to 11.46 percent Wednesday. Prof. Itamar Grotto, deputy director general of the Health Ministry, said on Tuesday that the Health Ministry has set a target of seven percent.

There are 668 patients in serious condition, of which 159 are on ventilators. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein instructed paramedics to join hospital teams to help with the case load. Israel has set 800 serious cases as a red line number signaling that corona wards are full to capacity.

According to reports, Israeli government ministers that comprise the “coronavirus cabinet” are now seriously considering declaring a national state of emergency.

Prof. Gabi Barbash, a former director general of the Health Ministry, who has appeared frequently on Hebrew media since the crisis broke, criticized the government.

“One should stop arguing and make a closure. Immediately now or immediately after Yom Kippur so as not to get into controversy over it. We are paralyzed in the face of an epidemic spreading at a rate no one thought,” he said.

The corona cabinet is meeting on Wednesday afternoon to decide on recommendations from corona czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu for further tightening. The corona cabinet met yesterday but didn’t come to a decision.

Among the measures being considered is reducing the private workforce to 50 percent capacity. The Finance Minister has said he opposes any additional restrictions.