Israel reported Thursday morning that 1,400 new cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed over the last 24 hours, marking the country’s highest rise of daily cases in more than two months.
Health authorities carried out about 98,500 coronavirus tests in that time, which puts the country’s contagion rate at 1.44%, also the highest such figure reported in weeks.
Meanwhile, Israel’s coronavirus R number stood at 1.34, which indicates the spread of the outbreak is accelerating.
Israeli hospitals were treating 124 COVID patients, 83 of them listed in serious condition. Of the seriously ill, 70 were unvaccinated, accounting for 84% of all severe cases, five patients were vaccinated with two doses and eight others had received a booster shot.
The unvaccinated also accounted for more than 93% of severe cases among people younger than 60.
According to Health Ministry data, there are 9,591 active coronavirus carriers throughout the country, most of whom displayed mild to no symptoms at all.
Overnight Wednesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in closed talks he believed the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant will reach massive proportions but will be short-lived.
“There is going to be serious bedlam, but it will be relatively short-lived. We’ll reach insane figures,” the Prime Minister told his ministers, adding he estimated the spread of Omicron will peak within seven to 10 days.
He also advocated further restrictions in hopes of avoiding another lockdown as the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases hovered above 1,000 for the first time in two months.
“No one wants a lockdown, but you can’t predict the future,” he said. “Our goal is to act with full force so there won’t be a lockdown, do whatever we can to avoid a lockdown. Let’s give a little now to avoid a disaster later.”
Bennett further said he hoped the public would cooperate with the government’s efforts and vaccinate their children as he works to shore up Israel’s pediatric vaccination campaign through the country’s health funds and education system.