Israel’s corona fight: No sign of easing, seriously ill approaching red line

Serious cases stood at 653 on Tuesday. The number 800 has been cited as a red line.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The corona numbers continue to rise. There were 3,858 reported cases on Monday, up from 2,565 on Sunday. Of those tested, 11.2 percent are coming back positive. That number needs to get down to seven percent, says the deputy director general of the Health Ministry, Prof. Itamar Grotto.

“There are countries with only up to three percent, that’s our aspiration after we reduce the incidence of the disease,” Grotto said at a Tuesday hearing.

Cities with a leading incidence of the disease are no longer just haredi and Arab populations. Tel Aviv, Petah Tikvah, Netanya, Beer Sheba, Holon, Haifa and Ashdod now are on top, according to a list published Tuesday.

Serious, hospitalized cases stood at 653 on Tuesday. The number 800 has been cited as a red line as it will mean that all the hospitals are operating at full capacity.

Israel’s ability to handle more cases has been further hampered by a shortage of staff despite the government’s commitment to pay for more doctors and nurses. Also, 3,944 health care workers are now in isolation, having either contracted the disease or been exposed to it.

Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levy ordered every hospital to open an additional corona ward to deal with the incoming cases.

“We have added beds so that we can hospitalize the patients and there are more wards that are to be opened,” Levy said.

The corona cabinet is meeting Tuesday to discuss tightening the existing lockdown even further. Critics of the lockdown, including from within the Health Ministry, says the current curfew doesn’t go far enough.

Among the possibilities, closing the private sector by half and putting the public sector on an emergency footing.