COVID: Israel tries to adjust to virus, hospitals find hard to cope

Director of Hadassah’s coronavirus ward Dror Mevorach said that the hospital has been witnessing a 10-15 percent decrease in the number of doctors and nurses, whereas it needed 20-30 percent more health staff, depending on the flood of positive patients.

Like other countries, the Israeli government also adopted “Living with COVID” as its mantra before the arrival of the virus’ new variant Omicron.

However, the latest variant is milder than the previous one; hospitals have been witnessing a shortage of nurses and medical staff in the COVID-19 wards. The workload has soared again, and the availability of the health staff is inversely proportional to the number of cases.

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As per the acting director-general of Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem Yoram Weiss, the medical staff has been exhausted and now the situation is not the same as everybody was full of energy during the first wave.

The Omicron variant is comparatively causing less severe infections and deaths, but it is spreading very quickly. In last January, Israeli’s daily caseload reached above 80,000 and has eased over the past few days.

As many people have been getting COVID-19 positive, the coronavirus wards have been filling up fast; on the other hand, the number of staff members has been decreased, which reduce the quality of care.

According to the news agency Reuters, the director of Hadassah’s coronavirus ward Dror Mevorach said that the hospital has been witnessing a 10-15 percent decrease in the number of doctors and nurses, whereas it needed 20-30 percent more health staff, depending on the flood of positive patients.

The government has kept to the smoother policy to handling the virus that it took last summer, backed by other specialists and with about 65 percent of Israel’s 9.4 million inhabitants vaccinated with a recent booster vaccine or second dosage.

It has lowered restrictions while urging people to self-test and stay at home if they are unwell, similar to what has been done in a number of Western countries, notably the United Kingdom and France.

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It has also reduced isolation durations and quarantine for school children, who have been exposed to a carrier, in January.

Tariq Saeed

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