The first wave of COVID-19 in Israel—Initial analysis of publicly available data

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The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Israel on February 21, 2020. Within approximately 30 days, the total number of confirmed cases climbed up to 1, 000, accompanied by a doubling period of less than 3 days. About one week later, after this number exceeded 4, 000 cases, and following some extreme lockdown measures taken by the Israeli government, the daily infection rate started a sharp decrease from the peak value of 1, 131 down to slightly more than 100 new confirmed cases on April 30. Motivated by this encouraging data, similar to the trends observed in many other countries, along with the growing economic pressures, the Israeli government has quickly lifted most of its emergency regulations. Throughout May, the daily number of new cases stayed at a very low level of 20–40 until at the end of May it started a steady increase, exceeding 1, 000 by the end of June and 2, 000 on July 22. As suggested by some experts and popular media, this disturbing trend may be even a part of a “second wave”. This article attempts to analyze the data available on Israel at the end of July 2020, compared to three European countries (Greece, Italy, and Sweden), in order to understand the local dynamics of COVID-19, assess the effect of the implemented intervention measures, and discuss some plausible scenarios for the foreseeable future.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0240393
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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