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Health Ministry denies inflating number of serious COVID patients

Medical personnel wearing protective equipment treat a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care ward that has been converted from underground parking, at Rambam Hospital in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, December 15, 2020. The underground facility originally built for a war emergency, can turn from a parking garage into a protected hospital within 72 hours and has been treating coronavirus patients since September 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Illustrative: Medical personnel wearing protective equipment treat a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care ward that has been converted from underground parking, at Rambam Hospital in the northern city of Haifa, December 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The Health Ministry denies Hebrew media reports that accuse it of inflating the number of COVID-19 patients in serious condition.

The ministry specifically lashes out at the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, accusing its reporter of “not checking the details in depth, thus misleading the public.”

According to the ministry, there are currently 46 people hospitalized in serious condition with coronavirus complications. The Yedioth report, which cited hospital figures, put the number at 27, while Channel 12 news reported there were 32 such cases.

The ministry says its data includes patients who are no longer infected with COVID but are still hospitalized in serious condition. It adds that it checks the stats three times a day and that it is regularly in touch with hospital representatives.

“The figures public by the Yedioth Ahronoth reporter were checked again with hospitals… and it was found they were incorrect, to put it mildly,” the ministry says in a statement.

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