New COVID-19 Cases Near 1,800 as Omicron Infections Triple in Four Days

YERUSHALAYIM -
Healthcare workers take test samples of Israelis in a drive-through complex to check if they have been infected with the coronavirus in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Israel recorded 1,775 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including 591 cases with the Omicron variant, according to Health Ministry figures released Motzoei Shabbos.

Confirmed cases of Omicron thus reached 1,118 as of Motzoei Shabbos, more than triple the 341 known infections from Tuesday, when the Health Ministry last released specific figures on the variant. The ministry said Motzoei Shabbos that another 861 infections were “highly suspected” to be Omicron cases, pending test results.

Health officials have warned that Omicron cases are driving the upcoming fifth wave of infections in Israel.

Daily cases have steadily risen from around 400-500 a month ago. Friday’s numbers were the highest daily caseload in over two months, when 1,816 new infections were reported on Oct. 12.

The figure came as Cabinet ministers approved new restrictions for entry into malls, set to start at midnight Monday, in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.