JERUSALEM, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Israel allocated one billion new shekels (about 294 million U.S. dollars) for the state's health system to prepare for the coming winter, according to a statement issued by Israel's Ministry of Health on Thursday.
The amount will help Israeli hospitals and state-mandated health service organizations deal with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of patients in serious condition is expected to rise significantly in the winter months.
Recently, during the summer, the number of coronavirus patients in Israel increased at a rate of about 1,500-2,000 new cases a day, which brought the total number to almost 100,000. However, the number of patients in serious condition remained less than 400.
The support amount was decided after talks between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance.
Of the total amount, 40 percent will be allocated to home hospitalizations to prevent patients in mild condition from getting to clinics and hospitals, and 60 percent will be allocated to flu vaccines, remote medicine and other operations.
Israel's Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said: "This is good news for preparing for the winter. I hope this is just the first step through which patients will be able to prepare for winter properly as we expect them to."