Israel reports record number of new Covid-19 cases

The country recorded another 10,947 coronavirus infections on Monday

 An Israeli teacher hands a Covid-19 antigen self-test to a student outside a school in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

An Israeli teacher hands a Covid-19 antigen self-test to a student outside a school in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

 

Israel has reported a record number of daily infections, as it continues its rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine booster drive the country began in early August.

The country recorded 10,947 new cases on Monday, surpassing the previous high of 10,118 daily infections reached in January, according to Israeli health ministry figures.

Testing for the virus has been especially high in the past week as students in Israel prepared to return to school. The portion of positive tests reached about 7.7 per cent, high for the current wave of disease in Israel but only about half the rate at the end of last September. The numbers of serious cases have risen, but remain well below January levels.

Israel was an early leader in Covid-19 inoculations. It began a booster drive for older people early this month and gradually expanded the campaign to include everyone aged 12 and over. Health officials have said that the effects of the initial shots weaken five months after inoculation, making boosters necessary.

Nearly 6 million of the country’s 9.4 million-strong population have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while more than 5.4 million have had two doses and some 2.1 million have had three.

While there have been breakthrough cases among those vaccinated against Covid-19, figures show the unvaccinated often suffer worse effects when infected. The rate of severe illness among non-vaccinated people aged 60 and over stood at 296.6 such cases per 100,000 people, while among the fully vaccinated, it was 19.8. – Bloomberg