Israel on Tuesday reported over 6,000 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed the previous day. This is the first time in six months the single-day tally has surpassed 6,000 cases.
The Health Ministry said since midnight Monday, at least 6,275 people tested positive for coronavirus, the highest single-day tally since Feb. 8.
Medical officials conducted over 130,000 tests throughout the day, placing the contagion rate at 4.8%.
The ministry said that at least 394 patients are listed in severe condition, the highest the figure has been since March, of whom 64 are ventilated. A week earlier there were 232 in serious condition.
At least 80 patients passed away since the start of this month, bringing the official death toll to 6,559.
“We are at a critical point for all of us, for the health, the life and the economy,” Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Salman Zarka said in an interview to Radio Kan Bet.
According to Tuesday’s update by the Health Ministry, some 16 people died on Sunday, making it the deadliest day since the beginning of April.
While the figure is still much lower than what was happening at the peak of the third wave, when at times dozens of people were killed by COVID over the course of 24 hours, it still represents a dramatic increase compared to a few weeks ago. In the whole month of June, some seven people succumbed to COVID; the toll already stands at 82.
Government and health officials are hoping that a significant improvement will be brought about by the third vaccine offered to Israelis over 60, to reinforce their immunization.
Since the new campaign was launched, close to 600,000 people have already been inoculated.
Zarka also said that there is an improvement also in the vaccination of over one million eligible Israelis who have not been jabbed at all.
“There is a shift,” he said noting the ministry’s efforts in cooperation with local authorities, health funds and other relevant entities.
In order to contain the outbreak, the ministry is considering recommending bringing back the Purple Ribbon outline and some caps on gatherings.
The Coronavirus Cabinet is expected to convene in the upcoming days.