Israel’s Covid-19 reproduction rate surpasses 1

Jerusalem, March 20 (IANS) Israel’s Covid-19 reproduction number indicator, also known as the R number, has increased from 0.97 to 1.02 on Saturday, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health.

“The latest R number implies a return to pandemic spread, thus caution is advised,” the statement read.

People who have not yet received a booster dose should do so quickly to avoid serious disease and suffering, according to the ministry. It also advised keeping a safe distance from dangerous groups and using face masks indoors, Xinhua news agency reported.

The R number is a metric used to gauge the pace of the pandemic spread, and usually refers to the average number of people infected by a single virus carrier.

When the R number is greater than one, the number of Covid-19 patients increases at an exponential rate and multiplies from time to time. When the R number is less than one, it indicates the spread of the pandemic has been curbed.

Israel’s R number reached 2.12 in mid-January, then gradually dropped to 0.66 in late February.

The ministry reported 7,080 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the country’s caseload to 3,758,955, while the number of active cases rose from 41,841 to 44,190.

The number of death toll as a result of Covid-19 rose to 10,419, with one new fatality on Saturday, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 324 to 326.