COVID: 43% of new cases among children 5 to 11 years old, as the first 8,000 receive punctures

About 43% of the new coronavirus cases recorded in Israel last week have been in the 5- to 11-year-old cohort, as some 8,000 children were vaccinated on the first official day of the campaign to inoculate them.

Some 603 cases were identified on Tuesday, the Health Ministry announced on Wednesday. The previous week they were 558 and in the previous 517.

As of Wednesday, Israel had about 6,500 active cases, after they had dropped to 5,000 last week.

The R rate, which represents the average number of people infected by a virus carrier, stood at 1.08. When the R is greater than 1, the disease is considered to be spreading.

The coronavirus cabinet met Tuesday night to discuss the situation.

CORONAVIRUS ‘CZAR’ Prof. Salman Zarka attends a press conference in Jerusalem on Sunday (Credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI / FLASH90)

During the cabinet, coronavirus commissioner Professor Salman Zarka warned that Israel may need to declare a fifth wave of the coronavirus outbreak if R. continues to rise.

Several health professionals also warned ministers that Israel is witnessing a real increase in cases.

Experts from the Hebrew University said that by the end of December Israel could find itself again in a situation with around 2,500 new cases per day, but expressed their confidence that by increasing its level of vaccination it will avoid this scenario.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered that all students undergo an antigen test before returning to school after the Hanukkah holidays, as they did before the start of the school year and after the high holidays.

In addition, he said that if there is concern that specific events during Hanukkah are causing new outbreaks, they will be closed.

In light of the situation, the cabinet decided that no further restrictions will be lifted for the time being and that the validity of regulations such as indoor occupancy limits and the green pass scheme will be extended for another two weeks, subject to approval. of the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee.

Authorities hope that the new push to vaccinate the 5-11 cohort, as well as to reach the 1 million Israelis who are supposed to receive a booster, will help stop new infections.

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