Expecting a continuous downward trend after COVID-19 test-positive cases across the country shrank to just 10 to 12 a day in June, Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash shared on Tuesday that he is very disappointed with the recent surges in infection.
Ash stressed his remarks to the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee via a video conference call. He highlighted that the Health Ministry is tallying up to more than 10,000 COVID-19 test-positive cases daily. He also added that between 670 and 700 of these individuals are hit with the more severe health effects of the virus.
Ash emphasized that these figures did not exist in the previous waves, ” “I hoped that we would see a clearer drop,” the health official said, “but we are still not seeing it.” Notably, the number of people infected by COVID-19 Israel in the past weeks is much higher compared to the massive third wave that took place in 2020, despite having 61.4% of its total population getting the first or two full doses.
The Health Ministry Director-General pointed out that patients requiring extensive medical attention and equipment like extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines and ventilators are rising.
Moreover, Salman Zarka, Israel’s national coronavirus czar, who also attended the video conference call, shared that half of the infected persons documented on September 13 were children. He also related that the Health Ministry is already gearing up for a possible fifth wave.
Zarka put forward that he hopes “that we will pass the month of September and stabilize in October.” He added that when that is done, “we will take a fresh look at the policy.”
The “policy” Zarka is talking about is the Green Pass, which only allows persons who are recently tested negative for the virus or recovered from the infection or those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to access crowded outdoor attractions and most indoor public places.