Israel was down to a handful of daily COVID cases. Now it's around 11,000. What happened?

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  hallux  •  2 months ago  •  25 comments

By:   Mark Gollom · CBC News

Israel was down to a handful of daily COVID cases. Now it's around 11,000. What happened?
"This is a very clear warning sign for the rest of the world, if it can happen here, it can probably happen everywhere."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Israel has the highest 7-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases per million people.


Just months ago, Israel was a world leader in vaccinating its population and appeared to be putting a stranglehold on the virus that causes COVID-19, wrestling down its daily case count to double digits — and at times, near zero.

But any potential celebration was short-lived, as the more contagious delta variant gained traction and spread quickly, to the point where Israel's most recent daily case count was around 11,000 — a level not seen since January.

According to some Israeli scientists, this reversal of fortune provides lessons for countries like Canada, as we enter a fourth wave, to remain cautious about letting any guard down — to avoid some of the mistakes their country made.

"This is a very clear warning sign for the rest of the world," said Dr. Ran Balicer, chief innovation officer at Clalit Health Services (CHS), in a recent interview with   the magazine Science.

"If it can happen here, it can probably happen everywhere."

While Israel often topped the list of population vaccinated by Oxford University-based Our World in Data, now it's leading in another category: It has the world's highest seven-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases per million people.

Daily record


On Tuesday, Israel's Ministry of Health reported that the country had set a new daily record for diagnosed coronavirus cases at nearly 11,000, which comes as the delta variant surges across much of the world.

There were 716 people in the country hospitalized and in serious condition with COVID-19 complications, including 159 on ventilators,  the Times of Israel reported.

And while Israel went several weeks in May without a death, more than 550 people have died of COVID-19 in August, including over 100 of them in the last five days, the Times reported.

"It seems that some mistakes were made when we thought we won the war, and now we understand we only won the battle. The war is still here, and we have to continue and to explain and push all the people to get vaccinated," Israel's coronavirus czar, Prof. Salman Zarka, said in a   recent interview with the Times. 

Meanwhile, Israeli health officials reported what appeared to be a waning efficacy of the vaccine, including among those who had been double vaccinated. Data showed that of the serious cases being admitted to hospital, around 60 per cent of patients were people who had been fully vaccinated, though most were over 60 or with underlying health conditions.

Herd immunity believed reached


"Many public health professionals feel that what happened in Israel was a demonstration of population immunity, or herd immunity. [But the] delta variant, with its higher infectious rate, coupled with waning immunity, has proven us wrong," said Dr. Eyal Leshem, a clinical associate professor in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv University, in an interview with CBC News.

In May, with herd immunity believed to have been established and cases dwindling down to double digits, with few deaths, Israel began easing up on its public health restrictions. Businesses and schools were returning to normal.

Then, at the beginning of June, capacity limits at stores and restaurants were lifted, as well as for indoor and outdoor gatherings. Israelis also no longer needed proof of vaccination to enter various venues.

By mid-June, indoor mask requirements were lifted.

"The government … decided we shouldn't impose restrictions; we will rely on vaccines for protection. But then we realized that it is very difficult to stop the infections with the delta variant," said Cyrille Cohen, head of the lab of immunotherapy at Bar-Ilan University and a member of the Israeli Health Ministry's advisory committee for clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines.

"What we should have done is to keep some restrictions — for example, wearing of the mask inside," he said.

As the country's cases rapidly increased again, the government reversed course. Mandatory masks and its green pass regime were again required to enter indoor public spaces.

Between January and March, Israel had been very proactive and innovative, explained Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. "And then we became much more passive."

Significant number still unvaccinated


Israel has so far fully vaccinated around   62 per cent of its population . But that still leaves a significant number of people unvaccinated, said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases physician and member of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine task force. 

"You've got a million unvaccinated folks, plus a very contagious delta variant, plus opportunities for the virus to be transmitted," he said. "So you can't get surprised that there's a big rise in cases."

The most cautionary tale for Canada could be observations that the rate of infection has been found to be higher in people vaccinated back in January, compared with people who were vaccinated in April, said Leshem.

"In simple words: That protection against infection is waning over time."

These results were observed in people who were double vaccinated, regardless of age or whether they were immunocompromised, he said.

Leshem said this development, along with the fear that a rise in severe infections would overwhelm the health-care system, prompted Israel to become the first country to launch a booster shot campaign, with a third dose going to those aged 60 and over. Boosters are now available to everyone aged 30 or older.

So far, the results of the booster campaign suggest the third dose is probably effective both in preventing infection and in reducing the number of severe breakthrough infections and hospitalization, Leshem said.

"So what we're seeing on the ground in COVID wards — in my hospital and other hospitals — is that while the number of cases continue to increase, we've seen a stabilization in the number of severe cases," he said. "The most plausible reason is that this older population that was boosted is more protected against severe infection, hospitalization and death."

The disease is still expanding, Leshem said, and Israel is still seeing more and more cases every day — "but at a slower rate."

According to Cohen, the lesson countries like Canada can learn from Israel's experience is that a focus must be maintained on the populations at highest risk.

"As the number of infections rises, you really want to make sure this population is protected in an optimal way," he said.

Limit gatherings


In terms of policy, governments need to maintain some level of restriction, like limiting gatherings, said Cohen.

"I was a proponent of having … tighter restrictions like a month-and-a-half ago. That was actually my personal advice when I was asked by officials here so that we would not end up in this situation," Cohen said. "They decided against that."

To Canadians and Canadian lawmakers, his advice is to open up gradually — and the moment there is a steady rise in cases, don't wait to act. "Because the higher the rise, the more difficult it is to stop with simple measures."

He also advises that people keep masking while indoors and to use rapid testing for vulnerable people attending family gatherings. 

And his message to Canadians who were vaccinated more than six months ago: "You are vulnerable. You are more vulnerable than what you were three months ago, especially when facing the delta variant."


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Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    2 months ago

If you don't trust your medical agencies, try tusting those from a nation that has stared into oblivion ... and roll up your damned sleeves! Y'all love your kids right?

"More than 500,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. from August 5 to August 26,  according to state data  collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics. At least 203,962 of those cases were reported in the week of August 19 to August 26; In late June, one weekly reported number was just shy of 8,500."

 
 
 
Ronin2
Masters Quiet
1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Hallux @1    2 months ago
Y'all love your kids right?

Don't have any, and can't stand them. Everyone keep your kids away from me! You might think they're cute; but to me they are the walking, crying, screaming, drooling, nose running, disease fests. I would rather but stuck with the walking dead. 

Hasn't anyone heard we have an overpopulation crisis? So stop breeding already dammit!

If you do have them, then damn well take care of them; so they don't become a super spreader event along the lines of the massive constant surge of illegals crossing our southern border.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    2 months ago

heck, the progressive liberals believe that you should be supporting their kids.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    2 months ago

Chill down Ronin, the kids don't like you also ... but here's the kicker, they're going to win.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.1    2 months ago

And what does that have to do with the topic?

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.4  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.3    2 months ago

Now you've gone and done it, I was just going to ask Ronin for a check in my daughter's name ... it was prime pickings. Go look at a rainbow.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.3    2 months ago
And what does that have to do with the topi

ABout the same as talking about loving your kids in America on an article about Israel.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.5    2 months ago
If you don't trust your medical agencies, try tusting those from a nation that has stared into oblivion ... and roll up your damned sleeves! Y'all love your kids right?

Context is everything. He is talking about getting your kids vaccinated, which is derived from the article and not liberals or conservatives. 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.7  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.5    2 months ago

The virus does not care what country the article is about, but hey, let me help you clear away some of that dirt around the hole you are digging:

1: The article is from the CBC which is depending where you live a stone's throw away and millions of Americans watch it.

2: I also linked to an article from CTV which talks of American children and Covid. That news channel is also Canadian and also watched by millions of Americans.

3: Now you may be sitting in a chair in some far flung State, but this is the WW-Internet and everyone online is a citizen of it.

4: Both Canada and the US are going in the same direction as Israel has ... Israel is the canary in the covid mine.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Hallux @1.1.7    2 months ago

jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.9  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.8    2 months ago

jrSmiley_76_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @1.1.9    2 months ago

You'll get where you are digging to eventually!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    2 months ago

What happened? People felt safe and then got lax.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  JBB @2    2 months ago

Jumping the shark while its mouth is wide open.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2  Split Personality  replied to  JBB @2    2 months ago

They sent their unvaccinated kids back to school and they spread it to each other,

their teachers and unvaccinated parents in a matter of weeks,

but DeSantis thinks they are wrong...

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
2.2.1  gooseisback  replied to  Split Personality @2.2    2 months ago
They sent their unvaccinated kids back to school and they spread it to each other, their teachers and unvaccinated parents in a matter of weeks,

Please point this out in the seed, I didn't see it. I did see the following:

While Israel often topped the list of population vaccinated by Oxford University-based Our World in Data, now it's leading in another category: It has the world's highest seven-day rolling average of new daily coronavirus cases per million people.

Meanwhile, Israeli health officials reported what appeared to be a waning efficacy of the vaccine, including among those who had been double vaccinated. 

These results were observed in people who were double vaccinated, regardless of age or whether they were immunocompromised, he said.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  gooseisback @2.2.1    2 months ago

It's on topic.  We are discussing the topic, as well as the seed, but not limited to the seed.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.3  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @2.2    2 months ago

230kids in hospital thousands in quarantine. Some Florida school districts are closing for the next few weeks because of covid. Florida is averaging in excess of 20,000 new cases a day and DeSantis is still fighting mask mandates.

The last 7day period we had 1837 deaths from Covid.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.2.4  seeder  Hallux  replied to  gooseisback @2.2.1    2 months ago

Try the link in my 1st comment, It's an extension to the seed.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.5  Split Personality  replied to  Hallux @2.2.4    2 months ago

The taliban topic police are only interested in echo chambers of their own constructs.

196

Topic goggles...

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.2.6  shona1  replied to  Kavika @2.2.3    2 months ago

Morning..yep broken out here as in New Zealand.. Melbourne 200 infections today and one lost soul...first we have had in months...

NSW is a mess.. heading to 2,000 a day up there and a number of lost souls...

You stamp it out but it raises it's ugly head yet again..and then it is off and running...

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
2.2.7  gooseisback  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.5    2 months ago
The taliban topic police

Who are you referring to?

 
 
 
gooseisback
Freshman Silent
2.2.8  gooseisback  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.2    one month ago
It's on topic

Never said anything about being on topic, if your going to quote information from other sources you need to attribute the information to that source.   

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Senior Principal
3  Nerm_L    2 months ago

The United States has administered 372 million doses of vaccine.  Over 80 pct of those 65 and older are fully vaccinated.  If the vaccines were going to harm or kill people, then older people would be the first to go.  We really do know all the vaccines are safe.

175 million fully vaccinated people can't be wrong.  And those 175 million people won't need to rely on horse medicine to save their asses, Jack.  If you're willing to put your faith in the local veterinarian then what have you got to lose trying a vaccine?

 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
3.1  Split Personality  replied to  Nerm_L @3    2 months ago

There were three deaths associated with blood clots and the J&J vaccine.  Since they now know how to treat those side effects they assume there show be no further deaths from that particular vaccine.

There is no definitive proof that the other 6,000 complaints of people dying at some point after receiving the vaccine

( like a stroke in an 85 year old 2 months later )

can be tied directly to the vaccine.

( 72 year old 385 lb male has a heart attack due to advanced heart disease 3 months after receiving 2nd shot of vaccine )

366 million doses in America, 3 confirmed deaths

and people are treating it like voter fraud.

The Governors Highway Safety Association calculates that there were 6590 pedestrian deaths in 2019, a 5 percent increase from 2018.

I guess some people would just give up walking...

 
 
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