Israel Reports Just 13 New Coronavirus Cases, The Lowest Number In Over A Year

 Israel Reports Just 13 New Coronavirus Cases, The Lowest Number In Over A Year

Topline

Israel clocked just 13 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday—the lowest number of daily cases in 14 months—as the country continues to reap the benefits of its world-leading vaccine rollout. 

Key Facts

The Israeli Health Ministry reported Sunday morning that a record low of the over 9,236 tests carried out Saturday came back positive. 

This brings the country’s overall test positivity rate to just over 0.1%, the lowest since the start of the pandemic last March. 

The U.S., by contrast, saw nearly 4% of its over 1.1 million tests given on Saturday come back positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, as it continues to report an average of nearly 50,000 new cases each day. 

Israel’s new cases and deaths have been steeply declining since the start of this year, with the country reporting an average of 1.9 deaths and 82 new cases each day over the past week. 

The Health Ministry said 102 patients are currently in serious condition (with 62 intubated), a decrease of roughly 92% from when the pandemic was at its peak. 

Big Number 

6,363. That’s how many Israelis have died from Covid-19. 

What To Watch For 

While Covid-19 is currently under control in Israel, the virus is still running rampant in Palestine, despite a recent decline. The occupied West Bank and Gaza recorded an average of 1,132 new cases and 17 deaths each day over the past week. Israel has faced criticism for largely neglecting the 5 million Palestinians living in the territories, despite its responsibility for Palestinian health as the occupying power. 

Key Background 

Israel has been widely recognized for running one of the most successful vaccine rollouts in the world. According to The New York Times’s vaccine tracker, the country comes second only to the small east African nation of Seychelles in terms of the proportion of residents vaccinated. A majority (56%) of Israel’s 9 million residents have been fully vaccinated, while 60% have received at least one shot of the jab. Israel has largely returned to normal life, with outdoor mask requirements lifted. Because of its success in battling the virus—which at its peak infected over 10,000 people and killed nearly 100 in one day—Israel has not yet fully reopened its borders. The country announced in mid-April that it will begin to welcome back some tourist groups from May 23, though “health considerations” will determine the travel “schedule.” The coronavirus variant wreaking havoc in India is causing some concern among Israeli health officials as they have identified at least 41 cases of the mutated strain.

Further Reading

“Israel’s Covid Deaths Hit Zero With Almost 60% Of Population Vaccinated” (Forbes)

“Israel To Open International Travel To Vaccinated Tourists In May” (Forbes)

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