Coronavirus czar: The fifth wave has already begun

Prof. Salman Zarka: Coefficient of infection is increasing too quickly. I want the public's help.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Professor Salman Zarka
Professor Salman Zarka
Ziv Hospital spokesperson

Prof. Salman Zarka, Israel’s coronavirus czar, said on Wednesday evening that the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel has already begun.

"We are no longer between waves - we are at the start of a wave," Zarka told Kan 11 News.

"When we thought about a fifth wave we did not think about this increase, we thought about a new variant coming from abroad, about what is currently happening in Europe. This increase in the coefficient of infection is too fast and too early, I do not want to call it a fifth wave or a wave at all, I want the public to help turn it off and return to a descending graph," he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, senior Health Ministry official Ilana Gans spoke at a meeting of the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee about the recent rise in coronavirus infections across Israel.

"In the past week, we have once again been witness to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases confirmed each day and in the infection coefficient," she said. "This tells us that the rise in infections is real, and it's not in small numbers."

Gans added that the infection coefficient rose to 1.08 on Wednesday morning, and that most of the new cases are children who until this week were unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

"From the analysis we have conducted up until now . . . we see that the critical mass is children who are unvaccinated," she said. "The ages are between 6-11, which is a population which is entirely unvaccinated, and another 20-30% are ages 12 and up.

"We attribute this to a population which is unvaccinated, and not to the beginning of a drop in immunity. We have no data on such a thing."