Severe Coronavirus Cases Approach New Highs, Straining Israeli Health System

YERUSHALAYIM -
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing seen outside the coronavirus unit at  Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Health Ministry reported Thursday morning that 1,460 Israelis are currently hospitalized with coronavirus. Notably, 873 of them are listed in serious condition, nearing the record figures recorded at the beginning of October, including 210 patients on ventilators.

Health authorities conducted 129,711 coronavirus tests on Wednesday, 7,820 of which returned positive, meaning 6.2% of all tested yielded a positive result.

3,527 people have died in Israel of coronavirus.

Also Thursday, the ministry reported that some 17.5% of Israelis have been inoculated against coronavirus, after 91,300 people were vaccinated on Wednesday.

In addition, those who have contracted coronavirus after getting the first vaccine dose will, reportedly, not receive the second one.

In total, 1.53 million people have received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine.

Israel is to tighten its lockdown measures for at least the coming two weeks starting midnight Thursday, after a series of restrictions implemented over the past week and a half failed to reduce coronavirus morbidity.

The educational system will remain closed nationwide except special education institutions; gatherings will be limited to five people indoors and up to 10 people outdoors; all nonessential workplaces will stop operations; all professional sports activities will be canceled and Israelis will be prohibited from venturing more than one kilometer (0.6 miles) away from home and staying in other households.