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Expert predicts half a million more Israelis will get COVID in coming week

Eran Segal (courtesy of Eran Segal)
Eran Segal (courtesy of Eran Segal)

A top expert advising the government says that judging from the lightning pace of the current COVID-19 outbreak, he expects up to half a million Israelis to become infected by the end of next week, although we won’t know the full extent due to new rules limiting testing that will enter effect tomorrow.

Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute tells Radio 103FM that the figures seen thus far — daily cases doubling every 2.7 days — match the experts’ earlier predictions based on data from other countries, adding that the pace is similar no matter what measures governments are taking.

“Starting tomorrow, we will no longer get a reliable picture,” he says, citing the shortage of tests and new rules limiting PCR tests only to those in risk groups. “We might not see these numbers [in official figures], but they will definitely happen in reality.

“If over the past week there were about 60,000 confirmed cases — and we definitely didn’t find everyone, so in practice we definitely crossed the 100,000-case barrier, and we are seeing numbers double at least twice a week — then I predict that between now and next week half a million more Israelis could get infected,” Segal says.

He adds that in two or three weeks, the outbreak will peak, and then that widespread immunity among the population as a result of the mass infections will slow the pace and hopefully end the outbreak.

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