22 Aug 2021 by Aryeh Savir – TPS
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Israel’s healthcare system expressed cautious optimism over the weekend after the rapid rise in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in severe condition apparently slowed the result of the third booster administered to the Israelis aged 40 and over.
The Ministry of Health informed Sunday morning that 645 patients were hospitalized in serious condition. Early projections showed that at that time, some 800 patients should have been hospitalized in serious condition.
More than 1,377,000 Israelis received the third dose.
Professor Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and an expert on COVID-19 in Israel, noted that in a trend of several consecutive days, the number of critically ill hospital patients has exceeded its constant doubling every 10 days.
Professor Ran Balicer, founding director of the Clalit Research Institute, spoke of “the first favorable news in eight weeks” as the third booster dose “appears to reduce documented infections at the individual level and also, now at the population level, and despite the increase in rates, in 60+ the curve bends.
“While it is difficult to disentangle the behavioral factors, as the 60+ have been more cautious in recent days, the bending seems to indicate a booster effect beyond that,” he said.
“However, the exponential increase in the total number of cases and Israel is now number one per capita, will lead to a further rise if not curbed,” he warned.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Friday.
He said, “Israel is the pioneer of the third dose of COVID virus vaccine. We are seeing profound efficacy, the efficacy of vaccines. It works, it is safe and this is the way to beat this virus. “
He called on the Israelis “to work together to defeat him. We from Israel are going to share all the data, all the information, all the ideas of this pioneer. I’m happy to hear that many other countries are following suit because at the end of the day it’s a global war on COVID and we have to win. “
While the number of new severe cases appeared to have declined, the death rate remained high. 295 Israelis have died from COVID-19 since early August, including 143 last week. A total of 6,782 Israelis have died from the virus since the outbreak.