i24 News – Israel’s Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 14,460 new COVID-19 cases since Monday, with a contamination rate at 16.64 percent.
According to the ministry’s website, 320 patients are in serious condition, including 138 placed on artificial ventilators, a slight drop compared to the previous day.
The R-value — the average number of secondary infections produced by an initial case — continues to surge, currently standing at 1.33.
According to public broadcaster Kan , the Health Ministry is expecting an increase in hospitalizations within a week, as medical centers registered more patients infected with the coronavirus in recent days.
“I expect that within a week, the population at risk will be hospitalized, and unfortunately, they could be struck down with serious symptoms or even die there,” he told Kan.
Hospital Administrators Forum President Michael Halbertal said medical centers are looking to the state for resources they were promised to get through the next wave of hospitalizations.
While almost 50 percent of Israel’s population is vaccinated with a third dose, there are still just under 60,000 active COVID-19 patients.
Last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Israel would maintain the mandate on wearing facemasks indoors for at least another month, instead of lifting it by the end of March as planned.