283 patients in serious condition during fifth wave fueled by highly contagious omicron variant
Israel on Thursday recorded 48,095 new Covid-19 cases from the previous 24-hour period as the fifth wave continues, driven by the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant.
The positivity rate was 11.97 percent out of 401,747 tests checking for the virus, which now includes institutionally recognized rapid antigen tests in addition to PCR tests.
The reproduction rate, or R value, is trending downward in a sign that the spread is slightly reducing. The weekly average of the coefficient of infection from 10 days ago is 1.91, representing a drop from the previous update of 2.02.
Despite the significant increase in total coronavirus case, the number of acute cases remains relatively low, rising at a slower pace — 283 patients listed in serious condition, with 76 of those critical and 65 on ventilators.
Early research into omicron suggests that the variant is less severe compared to previous versions of the virus, infecting more of the upper respiratory tract instead of the lungs.
There are currently 258,664 active patients in Israel, with 165,550 in isolation, which on Thursday was reduced from 10 days to seven days unless symptoms show in the last three days of quarantine.
Over 4.3 million people in Israel have received the first booster shot and nearly half a million have been jabbed with the second booster shot, which is available to older adults over 60, medical workers and the immunocompromised.
A total of 25 deaths were recorded over the past week — a 78.6 percent increase compared to the prior seven-day period, resulting in a total of 8,290 fatalities since the pandemic began in Israel.