A Tuesday morning update by the Health Ministry brought the number of coronavirus infections diagnosed the previous day to of 1,688, making Monday’s figure the highest seen in any 24-hour period. The update reported by the Health Ministry raised the death toll to 368.
Yerushalayim, Beitar Ilit, Lod, Ramle, Kiryat Malachi and Beit Shemesh were named by the report as virus hotspots. The report did not say where in fact in these cities the outbreaks are occurring, and if they are limited to specific neighborhoods.
Since the start of the pandemic, 42,235 cases have been confirmed in Israel, the Health Ministry reported, among them 21,393 active cases. From the 177 patients listed in serious condition, 55 are on ventilators. The latter figure also conveys a sharp rise, from 151 serious cases reported by the Health Ministry on Sunday evening. This has prompted concern from authorities that the health system could be overwhelmed.
Last week, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned that if the number of daily virus infections climbs to 2,000, the government may order a full lockdown. Channel 13 quoted an unnamed senior Health Ministry official as saying that Israel is “a step away from a full lockdown.” Such a move requires a ministerial vote and then Knesset approval.