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Health officials said to predict Omicron wave will begin receding within a week

TV report cites Health Ministry assessments that number of new COVID infections per day has started to moderate

A Magen David Adom worker takes a swab sample from a man at a drive-thru testing complex in Jerusalem on January 17, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
A Magen David Adom worker takes a swab sample from a man at a drive-thru testing complex in Jerusalem on January 17, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Health experts believe the Omicron-fueled wave of coronavirus now sweeping Israel could peak in the coming week, Israeli television reported Friday.

Citing Health Ministry assessments, Channel 13 news said the number of new daily infections has begun to moderate. Ministry sources estimate the confirmed case count will start declining within a week, according to the network.

Separately, Channel 12 news quoted unnamed experts saying cases will start dropping by the middle of the coming week or next weekend at the latest.

The reports came as new daily cases remained at record levels, with the latest Health Ministry figures showing nearly 70,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 638 coronavirus patients listed in serious condition, including 124 on ventilators. In total, 1,758 Israelis were hospitalized with COVID, out of 427,023 people in the country who currently have the virus.

Among those hospitalized in serious condition, 55 percent received a booster shot, 24% were not vaccinated at all and the remainder were partially vaccinated or previously recovered from COVID.

Those who received the third booster dose of the vaccine still remained better protected against serious COVID symptoms, Health Ministry data showed, adding that Israelis over the age of 60 were 85% boosted, while only 60% of Israelis over 60 who were hospitalized in serious condition were boosted.

Just over 20% of tests on Thursday came back positive, including 22.5% of the PCR samples and 18.4% of the rapid antigen samples.

A lab technician performs diagnostic testing for COVID-19 at a Leumit Health Care Services branch in Or Yehuda, on January 21, 2022. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

The Health Ministry also released seven-day figures which showed 436,028 new cases during that time period — a 67% rise from the week before. Serious cases totaled 775 — a 130.7% rise from the previous week. COVID-related deaths added up to 58, a 34.9% rise from the previous week.

On Wednesday, COVID data showed that Israel was leading the world in new daily COVID-19 cases per capita. However, Israel is testing at a higher rate than many nations.

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