Coronavirus ward at Shaare Zedek
Coronavirus ward at Shaare ZedekOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Hospital directors have warned Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash that the overwhelming burden in the coronavirus wards is threatening their ability to provide reasonable treatment, and that there are concerns of a shortage of staff in coronavirus ICU wards, which treat the patients who are in the most serious condition.

According to Israel Hayom, it is expected that the rise in the number of severe cases, the overload, and the deaths will continue for at least another three weeks, and hospitals will not be able to provide reasonable treatment for patients.

The director of one of Israel's largest hospitals said, "The situation today is that due to the enormous overload on the coronavirus wards and the unprecedented shortage of doctors and nurses, who are in quarantine, there is already, now, a real and severe drop in the quality of medical treatment provided to coronavirus patients who are in serious condition, and patients in general who are in serious condition."

"This is the worst situation we have had from the start of the pandemic until now, and we are only now beginning to count the number of dead."

"The combination of coronavirus infections and winter infections, and especially with the high rate of coronavirus infections, has brought us to the limit of our abilities, " said Professor Masad Barhoum, General Director of the Galilee Medical Center. "We may need to cease elective activities."

Professor Nimrod Maimon, Internal Medicine Division Director at Soroka Medical Center, explained, "The challenge facing us today is double: To treat the rise in infections in the fifth wave, and to provide service to patients who are suffering from regular winter infections."

"What characterizes the current wave is that many people who are suffering from other medical issues - such as stroke, heart issues, trauma injuries, and more - are also diagnosed with coronavirus. This is a situation which requires multi-staff treatment and managing and operating many different units in the hospital, to treat these patients."

The burden on hospitals, which are treating both COVID-19 and flu patients, on Tuesday marked a record number of patients, the highest since the start of the pandemic, an IDF Military Intelligence Directorate report noted.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths is now forty times higher than it was two weeks ago: In the past few days, 40 people have died on average every day, the Military Intelligence Directorate report said. The number of deaths published by the Health Ministry seems to show that just 20 died on average each day, but the discrepancy is due to the fact that death certificates have not yet been issued for all of those who died.