8,221 New Daily Coronavirus Cases

The empty Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv on Friday, during a nationwide lockdown. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

For the fourth straight day, Israel reached a new daily coronavirus case count after the Health Ministry announced Motzoei Shabbos 8,687 new diagnoses since Friday afternoon, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 226,586.

Also reported were 10 additional virus-related deaths, raising the national death toll 1,417.

Out of the 67,628 patients currently battling the disease, 728 are in serious condition, with 200 connected to ventilators.

The ministry also reported that by Motzoei Shabbos, 23,387 coronavirus tests were conducted, putting the infection rate at 16.6%, meaning one in six tests were positive.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu admitted that it appeared that reopening the entire country including the education system has been a mistake. “The decision to open the event halls was made too quickly, same with the school system,” he said. “The populistic decisions to cancel the restrictions we, the government, implemented after cases began to climb was a mistake.”

The Knesset was due to reconvene Sunday in order to continue voting on the legal amendment to restrict the right to protest – as part of the coronavirus mitigation effort. Critics of the prime minister have accused the government of taking advantage of the pandemic in order to stymie the months-long demonstrations outside Netanyahu’s official residence in Yerushalayim.