Omicron outbreak: 43,815 new cases in Israel

i24NEWS

2 min read
A Magen David worker takes a Covid-19 rapid antigen test from Israelis, at a Magen David Adom drive-thru complex in Jerusalem, on January 10, 2022.
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90A Magen David worker takes a Covid-19 rapid antigen test from Israelis, at a Magen David Adom drive-thru complex in Jerusalem, on January 10, 2022.

Serious cases rising at a slower pace than the overall total amid the fifth wave of the pandemic

Israel on Wednesday morning registered 43,815 new Covid-19 cases amid the country's fifth wave fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant, according to Health Ministry data.

The Jewish state is now counting institutionally recognized rapid antigen tests in addition to PCR tests, resulting in higher daily numbers — although some public health experts believe that the actual rate of infection could be much higher.

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Despite the spike in overall cases, the total number of serious patients is rising at a slower rate — 254 severely ill as of Wednesday morning, of whom 84 are critical and 63 are hooked up to ventilators.

While total cases and serious cases increase, the number of deaths over the past seven days was 12, representing a decline of 7.7 percent compared to the previous week.

The positive test rate is 12.09 percent out of 362,336 tests administered on Tuesday for the virus.

The most recent update of the reproduction rate, or R value, is at 2.02, indicating that the virus is still multiplying at just over two people for every one person confirmed with the disease.

Despite the uptick in daily cases in Israel and globally, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the United States, on Tuesday said that the country could be close to transitioning to living with the coronavirus as a manageable disease.

The European Medicines Agency made a similar prediction on Tuesday, saying that the omicron variant is pushing Covid from a pandemic to an endemic disease that humanity can live with.