Spread of Delta variant is 'unstoppable' says Hebrew U professor

Prof. Gazit blames airport arrivals for new wave, says regulations & vaccines aren't helping enough.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Coronavirus testing (illustrative)
Coronavirus testing (illustrative)

430 coronavirus diagnoses were made from tests conducted on Shabbat, according to official reports. 29,475 tests were conducted, with a positivity rate of 1.47%.

63 people are currently defined as in serious condition in the country’s hospitals, of whom 16 are on ventilators. 6,448 people have died so far of coronavirus-related complications.

Speaking on Radio 103FM, Prof. Doron Gazit of the Rokeach Institute of Physics at Hebrew University said: “Our situation is getting worse and worse. Right now, things aren’t terrible, even in the hospitals, but we aren’t seeing an improvement along the line. The general public has not changed its behavior and it appears that the regulations are not helping.”

Gazit added that, “The new wave of infection is already being felt in the hospitals and in the number of confirmed cases we’re seeing. We hoped that we would see a significant difference in how this is playing out due to the vaccination campaign, but that’s not what we’re seeing. In older adults, the vaccine is losing its effectiveness. The epidemic is spreading and the infection rate is already close to 1. Increasing the number of those vaccinated could help get that number down. Two-thirds of the population are either vaccinated or immune, meaning that those who get vaccinated in the next few weeks could stop this new wave in its tracks.”

Referring to allegations that a large number of Israelis are bringing coronavirus into the country when they return from abroad, Gazit agreed that the issue was a worrying one. “The rate of confirmed virus cases entering via Ben Gurion airport is increasing constantly,” he said. “Last Friday, ten percent of the new confirmed cases were people who had entered via the airport, and this is a matter for great concern. In fact, we are attributing this new wave of the virus to the airport arrivals, including the Delta variant.

“Having 1,000 confirmed cases means that most of us know someone who is infected,” he added. “According to the statistics, it’s unstoppable – we’re going to reach 100 people hospitalized [in serious condition] by the first of August. As the wave advances further and further in the coming days, we’re going to see more and more face masks around.”