Has COVID 4.0 ended? We'll know by next week says Health Minister director-general

Prof. Nachman Ash notes continued drop in cases, credits booster shot campaign.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

בדיקות קורונה
בדיקות קורונה
צילום: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The number of serious cases of coronavirus in the country’s hospitals is continuing to drop, as is the number of new cases diagnosed – just 2,502 in the last 24 hours out of 109,055 tests conducted, which is the lowest figure seen since the end of July this year.

487 people are now defined as in serious condition, with 190 of them on respirators. The death toll currently stands at 7,855 people.

The number of people who have received their third, or booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine now stands at 3,634,984, up significantly from the previous month but still substantially lower than the number of those who have received two doses (5,666,867) or just the first dose (6,159,094 people).

On Wednesday morning, Prof. Nachman Ash, director-general of the Health Ministry attributed the continued decline in the number of COVID cases to the booster shot campaign.

Speaking on Radio 103FM, Ash, a former coronavirus project manager, said, “From the beginning of the current wave of the virus, it was very clear that most new cases, including serious cases, were found among those people who had been vaccinated twice and whose second shot was at least six months prior. Today, most of those who are seriously ill are those who are not vaccinated,” he added.

Asked if the fourth wave could therefore be considered over and done with, Ash expressed cautious optimism. “If we see the downward trend continuing next week, then yes, I would agree that the fourth wave is ending,” he said. “But we’re waiting to see the effect of the reopening of schools after the festival break,” he added.

“The decision to reopen schools was the right one to make,” he continued, “and it’s possible that we will also decide to conduct daily testing in classrooms in order to avoid students having to go into quarantine. We will draw the necessary conclusions within the next few weeks.”

Asked to comment on widespread criticism of the government and Health Ministry, which are demanding that people be vaccinated a third time in order to avoid being barred from various recreational activities such as restaurants and events, Ash was unperturbed.

“Consider the case of someone who has been vaccinated twice. The more time passes since the second shot, the more his chances of contracting the coronavirus increase. And it’s really not a good idea to contract COVID.”

Ash concluded the interview with words of warning, despite the positive data presented: “The danger that a new mutation of the virus will enter the country still exists.”