Coronavirus ward
Coronavirus ward Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Over 76,000 of the half-a-million Israelis currently diagnosed with COVID-19 need medical treatment for issues related to the virus, creating an overwhelming burden on the clinics, Israel Hayom reported.

According to the Health Ministry's cabinet of experts, this burden will stretch the clinics' capacities to the maximum - resulting in an additional burden on the hospitalization system.

"Quality of care may deteriorate in the coming weeks, due to the rise in the burden on hospitalization centers," the cabinet warned. "The peak of severe illness, and the peak of infections, is still ahead of us."

"There is real potential for severe overburdening and harm to the abilities and quality of treatment, which will come at significant cost. In addition, we are expecting several difficult and complex weeks in hospitalization centers, despite the relatively low percentage of critically ill patients among the severely ill, relative to previous waves."

"Most of the concern of excess deaths this time is not regarding those intubated in the ICU but rather those in the internal medicine and geriatric wards, and among the elderly who are at home, due to a drop in the quality of care caused by the overwhelming burden."

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