Prof. Blitzer explains: Why mortality is low in Israel


Although in the morbidity index Israel is in a high place, when it comes to mortality Israel is at the bottom. The explanation, according to Prof. Ran Blitzer, is because we have drawn conclusions from the first wave. “Risk population is careful”

Sicker, less dead: the disease continues to spread in Israel, but although the situation seems to be losing control when in the number of new daily infections per million Israelis is in sixth place in the world, there is still a positive aspect. Despite the high number of patients, the mortality rate is relatively low compared to countries dealing with a similar number of patients.

What is the explanation for the low mortality, when according to the indices the numbers were supposed to be higher? Prof. Ran Blitzer, director of the innovation department at Clalit and whose predictions, and especially the models he created, are considered reliable and those that have proven themselves the most, believe that we have simply drawn lessons and these are the results on the ground.

According to a data analysis conducted at the Clalit Institute for Research, headed by Blitzer, in the second wave the mortality rates in Israel are among the lowest in the world and even lower than those seen in the first wave. The mortality rate among corona patients in the first wave was 2.1% compared to only 0.8% in the current wave (where patient numbers are much higher).

In a Channel 12 news release, Blitzer said: “While the number of patients in critical and moderate condition continues to rise, the death toll is lower than what we saw in the first wave. One possible reason for this: in the second, current wave, at-risk populations are better maintained.” He said that in the wake of the first wave, those in the at-risk population (the elderly, or those dealing with background illnesses) have internalized that they must be careful not to go out into the public space, and they are very strict about the guidelines. This is why we see younger people, beyond the relative percentage, in intensive care units, and because mortality is relatively low.

However, he finds it appropriate to limit his remarks. “There is no complete and proven explanation for the reasons for this and further follow-up will be required. The probable explanation is that in the current wave Israel has managed to better protect the risk groups. The rate of infection has almost doubled.

Another explanation he raised is that in the second wave more asymptomatic ones were detected (70% now compared to 50% in the first wave). The study in “Clalit” showed that the rate of severe morbidity and mortality was significantly lower among patients who were asymptomatic on the day of their examination. Another explanation: the improvement in the quality of care for patients, including the decision to postpone their souls as much as possible when given more supportive and proactive supportive care, and appropriate medication. “In Israel today, every Corona patient is treated with a number of more protected caregivers and the treatment is very intensive. However, it is necessary to increase the manpower in the community system and in the hospitals and train them for dedicated care of Corona patients and increase the tests and procedures to cut the infection chains,” concluded Blitzer.

But precisely because of this we must not rest on laurels. Blitzer looks at the number of patients hospitalized in a serious and moderate condition that has continued to rise steadily in recent days: about 500 are hospitalized, with about 300 of them in a serious condition. According to his model, each week the load on hospitals increases at any point in time by about 100 more medium-severe patients. According to Prof. Blitzer, “If the upward trend continues in the coming weeks, in about a month the health system will have a hard time giving the good results it shows today. When we reach a point of insufficiency, it will not be easy to get out. “In these weeks, there is concern that the quality of care for these patients may deteriorate and endanger the lives of those who will need intensive care, at any age.”

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