Coronavirus in Israel: I don’t expect another wave says Coronavirus Commissioner


Israel is not going to experience another wave, Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said Sunday, as the number of cases dropped below 350, the lowest level since November.

“I’m glad to see a decline in all indices,” Ash said in a press briefing. “I want to remind everyone that we have not yet reached the low numbers that we registered between the second and third waves, so there is still a long way to go. However, the encouraging detail is that the decrease is happening despite a wide opening of the economy, which occurred about two weeks ago as the third stage of the exit strategy from the lockdown began.”

Some 337 new cases of the novel coronavirus were identified on Saturday, with only 1.8% of tests returning positive, the Health Ministry reported.

While the number of tests administered on Saturdays is consistently lower than on weekdays, the decrease remains meaningful as on the previous Saturday some 783 fewer cases were reported, and on the previous one to that, some 1,878 cases were seen. The last time Israel registered such a low number of cases was, once again, on a Saturday, but in November.

The R rate, or reproduction rate, also continued to decrease, standing at 0.62. The figure reflects how many people each coronavirus carrier infects on average. When the number is lower than 0.8 the disease is considered to be receding. Experts have been closely monitoring the rate, to see how lifting restrictions have impacted the ability of the disease to infect. While the vast majority of activities have resumed for at least two weeks, the R rate is steadily declining.

In addition, only four people succumbed to the virus on Saturday, the lowest daily toll in months. Some 6,085 have succumbed to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.