Among OECD countries, Israel has the worst levels of daily new coronavirus cases, but is near the bottom for the death rate from COVID-19, according to data shown Monday on Israeli television.
With a steady 800 daily new cases per million on average, Israel, unlike other OECD countries, doesn’t appear to be slowing down the number of infected, despite the wide inoculation drive and over a month of lockdown.
Meanwhile, the data showed that the Jewish state had one of the lowest fatality rates from the virus — 0.7 percent, Channel 12 news reported.
Israel’s total COVID death toll since the start of the pandemic climbed to 5,192 as of Tuesday morning, according to Health Ministry figures.
On Sunday, as Israel began to lift its third lockdown — which began in December 2020 and tightened in early January 2021 with 949 serious cases — hospitals were struggling to cope with over 1000 COVID-19 patients in serious condition.
According to Health Ministry figures Tuesday, Israel recorded 7,761 new coronavirus infections on Monday, out of 91,209 tests performed; 1,088 patients were listed in serious condition, including 306 who were on ventilators.
The television report speculated the reason for the low mortality rate stems from the large number of tests performed, and Israel’s reliable health care system.
Israel is also leading the world in its vaccination drive.
At the same time, the pace of inoculations has slowed dramatically, possibly further pushing the high number of positive tests. A senior official in the country’s largest health provider said Sunday they “got used to inoculating between 100,000 and 120,000 people per day,” and in the last few days they “are barely reaching half of those figures.”
Israel’s vaccination program with the Pfizer/BioNtech shot is ongoing, with 3,540,942 people having received the first dose as of Tuesday. Of those, 2,157,100 had also received the second dose.
“Even though we are here in full force, still fewer people are coming to be vaccinated,” Dganit Barak, manager of a Clalit vaccination center in Tel Aviv, told Channel 12 news, adding that they “have no explanation [for] why people are not coming.”
Health maintenance organizations are prepared to vaccinate some 200,000 a day, yet Monday saw just 120,000 shots given.