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As Israel crosses 9,000 COVID deaths, Johns Hopkins study concludes 'lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality'

Health Ministry numbers show that one-third of all Israelis have been infected since the pandemic began

Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital staff wear safety gear as they work in the COVID-19 ward, Dec. 27, 2021 (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Despite a waning in the latest surge in COVID cases, Israel passed the 9,000-mark in deaths due to the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The news comes as Johns Hopkins released a study showing that "lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality."

"While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted," the authors concluded. "In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

The study compared lockdowns in Europe and the United States which only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average, the study said. But perhaps the lockdowns were not as stringent nor as long as Israel's.

Israel imposed three national lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 lasting months at a time and is just emerging from a "de facto lockdown" with hundreds of thousands of citizens required to quarantine over the last two months as the infections rate surged.

The number of deaths now stands at 9,013 according to the Ministry of Health which posted its data from Wednesday. The number of patients hospitalized in serious condition is 1,147 – an increase from yesterday.

Nearly one third of the nation's 9.3 million population – 3,049,005 – has had COVID since the onset of the pandemic, and a number of experts say it is probably much higher.

Some 6.7 million Israelis have received at least one shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine since December 2020; 6.1 million received two, 4.4 million three and 653,000 a fourth shot.

Though the number of daily new cases has been slowly declining since last week, Israel is still recording tens of thousands of infections a day, with a 28% positivity rate of those tested.

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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