The number of Israelis carrying the coronavirus could reach as high as 80 percent of the population, with 1,440,000 people falling ill and 21,600 deaths, in a worst-case scenario where the disease is left unchecked and each patient infects two others.
The scenario was published Tuesday by the Hebrew financial daily The Marker and comes from a report prepared for the Health Ministry by Dr. Amit Huppert and Dr. Rami Ya’ari of the Gertner Institute for the study of epidemiology and health policy, and Haggai Katriel, associate professor of applied mathematics at the Braude College of Engineering.
Four scenarios were presented: best-case, worst-case, and two interim possibilities. In the best-case scenario, each infected person infected 1.2 other people, resulting in 32 percent of the population infected, with 576,000 falling ill. This would result in 108,000 severe and critical cases, and 8,600 deaths overall.
The height of the outbreak would see 130 critical cases per day with 4,000 hospital beds occupied and 1,300 beds required in intensive care units.
CNN reported Tuesday that Dr. Sandra Ciesek, director of the Institute of Medical Virology in Frankfurt, Germany, tested 24 passengers who had flown in from Israel and that seven of the 24 passengers tested positive for coronavirus.
Of those, four had no symptoms, and Ciesek found that the viral load of the specimens from the asymptomatic patients was higher than the viral load of the specimens from the three patients who did have symptoms.