HU Researchers: Israel at Increased Risk for a Coronavirus Resurgence


The researchers’ updated, periodic analysis: “preparations must be carried out for tightening the current restrictions. Given the current rate of infection, another outbreak will be significantly worse than the first.” They are not warning of a separate wave, but rather a resurgence of the second wave. 

Hebrew University researchers have published a new report, in which they note that although they had hoped that the decline in diagnoses that began late July was an indication that the second wave was coming to an end, last week the numbers took a turn for the worse. “The downward trajectory of the basic reproduction number has been reversed and is no longer stable at 1. When infection is so widespread, an infection rate of R=1 does not result in stability. Rather, it may be a temporary slump, before a resurgence. The causes for this are unclear but may include lax adherence to the regulations,” the researchers wrote. “Moderately or severely sick patients are being hospitalized at the same rate as in June, at the outset of the second wave. Looking forward, there is concern about a resurgence.”  

The researchers added, “preparations must be carried out for tightening the current restrictions. Given the current rate of infection, another outbreak will be significantly worse than the first.” The report added that the distribution of diagnosed cases requires restricting indoor gatherings, akin to those that reduced morbidity rates prior to the second wave.  

The team behind this study, which has recently published other reports, includes Prof. Yinon Ashkenazy, Prof. Ran Nir-Paz (Hadassah), Prof. Doron Gazit, Prof. Ronit Calderon-Margalit, Dr. Michael Assaf, and Prof. Nadav Katz – from the Racah Institute of Physics and the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine.  

Furthermore, the researchers note that the projected morbidity rate “has risen during the last few days” and that “the death toll will likely reach 800 by the end of August.” In addition, the report includes metrics and graphs indicating that a rise in moderately ill patients over the last five days is “a cause for concern, as it projects a rise in severely ill patients and an increased morbidity rate… The increase over the last few days – will result in more severely ill patients.”


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