Over 8,000 New COVID-19 Cases; Ventilated Patients at Record High

Shaare Zedek Hospital team members perform a surgical procedure on a patient in the coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek Hospital in Yerushalayim, on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Health Ministry said Wednesday that over 8,000 new daily coronavirus cases were recorded Tuesday, while the number of ventilated patients has reached a record high.

The Health Ministry said that 8,511 new cases were diagnosed on Tuesday, after 92,709 tests were had been conducted, putting the contagion rate at 9.2%.

Out of 82,930 active patients battling the disease, 1,113 are in serious condition, with 308 of them connected to ventilators – the highest the figure has been since the outbreak in Israel.

Israel’s death toll now stands at 4,142 after 21 more patients passed away on Tuesday.

In the meantime, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that over 200,000 Israelis were vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday. According to Edelstein, 2,272,000 Israelis have already received their first dose and 550,000 their second.

“With this pace, we will beat the mutation,” he said.

Edelstein on Tuesday ordered Health Ministry Director General Prof. Chezi Levy, who oversees the vaccination campaign, to raise daily inoculations to 250,000.

Also Tuesday, the Cabinet voted to extend the full nationwide lockdown until the end of January as the country for the first time saw 10,000 coronavirus infections in one day.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proposed to extend the lockdown until Sunday, Jan. 31, with most ministers supporting the proposal. Netanyahu said the extension of the lockdown will aid the expansion of the vaccination campaign.

“We need to make an effort to boost the vaccination drive, and for that to happen we need to extend the lockdown. We need to buy time, and while there is a lockdown, it is possible to vaccinate millions. We need to go wherever there is a lag in vaccinations ‘with a hammer’ until all of us are vaccinated,” he said.