Hospital COVID ward
Hospital COVID wardצילום: David Cohen/Flash90

The director of a Jerusalem hospital warned Friday that this month will be one of the most difficult not only since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began but in Israel’s history, predicting emergency rooms will be overflowing with patients.

Prof. Omer Merin, director of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital, told Yediot Aharonot said hospitals are gearing up for a massive wave of patients from the Omicron variant.

“January is going to be one of the most difficult months ever in the entire history of the health care system. So I’m concerned.”

“The thing that relaxes me a bit is the fact that the coronavirus isn’t new, and we know how to deal with it.”

Merin noted that this year’s flu season, as opposed to the 2020-2021 season, when few influenza cases were reported, has already seen a number of outbreaks.

“This year, the winter [flu] season infections have hit both children and adults. Israel’s emergency rooms are already looking bad, and next week they’ll look so bad it’ll be embarrassing. We expect things to get really bad in the emergency rooms, we’ll be embarrassed by it. Even hospital hallways will be completely full. I’m not even talking about beds anymore.”