Israel's active COVID-19 cases drop below 15,000

JERUSALEM, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The active coronavirus cases in Israel dropped by 550 on Tuesday morning to 14,679, the lowest since Dec. 8, 2020, the state's Ministry of Health said.

People eat at a restaurant in Jerusalem's main market after authorities reopened restaurants, bars and cafes to "green pass" holders (proof of having received a covid-19 vaccine), on March 11, 2021. (File photo: AFP)

The new figure reflects a sharp decline in active cases since Feb. 5, when 84,784 active cases were reported.

In addition, the number of COVID-19 patients in serious condition in Israel decreased from 504 to 499, the lowest since Dec. 21, 2020, when there were 489 patients in a serious condition.

Another figure that indicates a curb in the spread of the pandemic is the rate of the reproduction number, also known as the R number, which decreased from 0.62 to 0.6 in Israel. This is a sharp decline since March 7, when the R number stood at 1.02 in the country.

The R number is an indicator used to determine how fast the COVID-19 is spreading, as an R number greater than 1 means that the number of patients increases at an exponential rate and multiplies from time to time.

The total number of coronavirus patients in Israel reached 829,288, while the number of death cases rose to 6,114.