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Israel records 148 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

i24NEWS

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A medical staff member collects blood samples for Covid-19 serological tests at the Ziv Medical Center in Israel's northern city of Safed (Tzfat), on December 17, 2020.
David Cohen/Flash90A medical staff member collects blood samples for Covid-19 serological tests at the Ziv Medical Center in Israel's northern city of Safed (Tzfat), on December 17, 2020.

Third consecutive day with number of coronavirus cases above 100

Israel on Wednesday registered 148 new cases of the coronavirus with a positivity test rate of 0.3 percent, Prof Hezi Levi, director-general of the Health Ministry, said on Thursday.

That marks the third consecutive day that new infections in Israel have hovered above 100, a trend of consecutive 100-plus days not seen since April. Wednesday's infection number is higher than Monday's 125 and Tuesday's 111.

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"The upwards trend of the breakout can still be seen. At least half the patients are exhibiting symptoms — mostly light ones," Levi said in an interview with Reshet Bet Radio.

Israel is working to contain what Prime Minister Naftali Bennett describes as a new outbreak

The government said they are taking stricter border control measures with many of the cases stemming from Israelis returning from abroad as the highly infectious Delta, or Indian, variant of COVID-19 circulates globally, threatening to become the dominant strain in certain countries, including the United States.

A senior Israeli health official confirmed on Wednesday that hundreds of cases of COVID-19 have been discovered among fully vaccinated people over the past month.

Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at the Health Ministry, said 891 new infections were diagnosed in that time. 

She suggested that the Pfizer vaccine's efficacy against the Delta variant was around 88 percent, slightly lower than that of other strains but still "very protective."