Health officials alarmed as COVID cases creep back up

Health officials sounded a cautious alarm on Sunday as signs that the coronavirus pandemic may once again be on the rise in Israel continued on Saturday, with the virus’s basic reproduction number increasing to 0.87.

Known also as the “R-number,” the figure represents the number of people each confirmed patient infects, on average. Any number over 1 signifies infection is expanding.

Although the current figure still points to the pandemic receding, albeit at a slower pace compared to just a couple of weeks ago when that number was pegged at 0.67 after weeks of constant decline.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported that 3,471 Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus since midnight, the lowest such figure recorded since the beginning of the year.

The number of Israelis hospitalized in serious condition for COVID-19 also continued on its steady decline and stood at 366 as of Sunday, compared to 1,250 five weeks ago, a 71% drop. Of the gravelly ill, 157 are currently connected to ventilators.

Since the onset of the pandemic, 10,379 Israelis have succumbed to coronavirus-related complications, eight of them over the weekend alone.

Notwithstanding the R-number’s ongoing climb, there is growing speculation in the healthcare system that the country’s top coronavirus official, Prof. Salman Zarka, will soon end his work with the national coronavirus task force and resume his post as director of Ziv Medical Center in northern Israel.

“In light of the conditions created, we must not forget he’s a hospital director at the end of the day,” a senior health official told Ynet. “He was loaned out in favor of the coronavirus battle at a point in time when morbidity was high but ultimately, he has a hospital to run.

In the current state of the pandemic, it does not make sense for a hospital director to continue to serve as coronavirus czar while the hospital needs its management resources.”

The national coronavirus task force said “there is currently no such decision” to terminate Prof. Zarka.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.