Israel now has more daily coronavirus-related deaths per capita than the U.S.

Coronavirus is spreading faster and wider than ever before - no one is immune.

Ido Ben Porat ,


A document commissioned by the government Intelligence branch published on Tuesday morning includes worrying new data showing a continuing increase in the rate of contagion in Israel, with the country having for the first time overtaken the United States in the number of daily fatalities per capita.

Experts consulted to produce the document are now warning that the epidemic is spreading faster than it was last month, stressing that, “There is a broad increase in contagion in all sectors of the population, in all parts of the country.” They cite what they call a premature reopening of the education sector as being at least partially responsible for the increase, which began among the younger population and subsequently spread.

In addition, the number of those in serious condition continues to rise steeply – in the last month alone, the number has risen by 70% and is now over ten times greater than the number in the previous three months. “Given the rise in infections in those over the age of 60, we expect that the number of serious cases will continue to rise significantly in the near future,” the experts say, warning that a number of hospitals are reaching full capacity.

Responding to the latest data, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein asserted on Tuesday morning that, “The lockdown will not be lifted at the end of the three weeks originally cited. There is absolutely no way that we’ll just lift the restrictions and tell people: That’s it, it’s all over, everything’s back to normal.”

Speaking with Reshet Bet, he said that even if there are improvements in the coronavirus data, the government will be learning its lessons from how the country emerged from the previous lockdown – this time, the emergence from lockdown will be far more gradual. “It won’t help to put pressure on us,” he emphasized. “The economy will restart gradually, and this approach will be applied to all aspects of life affected by the lockdown.”

Commenting on warnings issued by the Prime Minister that the number of serious cases could rise to 1,500 in the near future, Edelstein said: “I hope that we don’t get there, but there is no doubt that the health system is prepared for such difficult scenarios.”

When asked about continuing demonstrations against the Prime Minister, Edelstein replied that, “This will end with thousands of sick people and many more seriously ill people in the hospitals. We must all demonstrate responsibility; nothing terrible will happen if people think of other ways to express their dissatisfaction. They have a right to protest, but it can also be achieved without gathering together in large numbers and violating all the regulations.”

He noted that the government’s coronavirus project manager, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, will be leaving his position at the end of October, and stressed that this was the original plan – Gamzu had said at the outset that he would take on the position for a period of three months only. And Edelstein also rejected the notion that the Prime Minister had failed in the way he has dealt with the epidemic, pointing out that in no country in the world had the prime minister managed to “take the coronavirus and throw it into the sea.”

Asked whether the courts would be shut down, thus postponing sessions of the trial of the prime minister on the three corruption charges he is facing, Edelstein said that it was for the judiciary to decide.

During Yom Kippur, 3,426 people tested positive for coronavirus out of 25,204 tests conducted (primarily in Arab neighborhoods). There are currently 772 people in serious condition in the country’s hospitals, with 208 people on ventilators. The number of coronavirus-related fatalities rose by over 50 in the last few days and currently stands at 1,507.