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Israel Ranks Third for New Infections per Population

Israel is third-highest in the world for new coronavirus cases relative to the population, according to figures provided by Our World in Data, a project of Britain’s Oxford University. At 242.27 new cases per 1 million population, a figure computed for July 29, the Jewish state ranks behind only Bahrain (258.00) and Maldives (253.45), and four places ahead of the United States (186.51), which it overtook earlier in the week. As of Wednesday, Israeli health authorities were reporting 66,550 cases since the pandemic began, and a total of 486 deaths. These figures, when considered in terms of population, are nowhere near the top of anyone’s list of afflicted countries, yet experts are deeply concerned about a skyrocketing resurgence of infections when the daily figures had been relatively low earlier in the year. In fact, the first time around, Israel received wide praise for the way it handled the outbreak, being among the first countries to close its borders to the outside world. Analysts attribute the turnabout to the speed with which the government lifted restrictions when new infections were seen to be on the wane.