Jerusalem, Aug 15 (IANS) Serious Covid-19 cases in Israel crossed the 500 mark on Sunday, for the first time since March, media reports said.
According to the Health Ministry, there were 524 patients in serious condition, with 84 of them on ventilators. In total, there were 877 people hospitalised with Covid-19, the Times of Israel reported.
The rate of serious cases was far higher among the unvaccinated older adults above 60, who constituted 134.1 people per 100,000 in serious condition on Saturday, while among the vaccinated, the figure was 20, and among the partially vaccinated, 35.5.
Seven deaths on Saturday and a further fatality since midnight took the reported death toll since the start of the pandemic to 6,632, the report said.
Warning that Israel was facing "tough days" ahead due to the resurgence in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, however, pushed back on calls for another national lockdown to stem the rising morbidity.
"Everything possible is being done to avoid lockdowns, which are destructive tools for our livelihood, for the economy, and for the education of our children," he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. "Lockdowns are a last resort."
Israel, last month, rolled out booster shots to adults over 60. Last week, the shots were extended to people older than 50.
As of Sunday morning, 866,315 people in Israel had received the booster. Over 5.8 million had received at least one vaccine dose, and more than 5.4 million had gotten two, the report said.
As a result, the number of serious patients in Israel is expected to drop already in the coming days.
"In the coming week, we hope to see signs of a decrease in serious morbidity among people over 60 who are seriously ill," Health Ministry's Director General, Prof Nachman Ash, was quoted speaking to FM 103 Radio, part of The Jerusalem Post Group.
"We have preliminary information on the effect of the third vaccine against infection," he added. "We estimate that this has halved the number of cases among the vaccinated, and in the coming days, we will have to see that this trend is maintained and this is also reflected in the serious morbidity," Ash said.
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