The ministry’s coronavirus dashboard reported 5,140 new cases from midnight Sunday to 10 p.m. Saturday, with the number of deaths and severe cases also rising steadily.
Israel last saw more than 5,000 cases in a single day on February 14, when it recorded 5,190. Monday’s tally, which does not include the last two hours of the day, will likely still be higher when the full day count is announced Tuesday morning.
The increase in the number of cases came as the head of the health ministry said more restrictions were being weighed, a day after new rules came into force to limit the participation of unvaccinated people in certain events. and places.
Figures from the Ministry of Health showed the number of active cases up to more than 34,103, including 373 people hospitalized in serious condition. 17 more deaths on Monday brought to 6,559 the number of people who have succumbed to the disease since the start of the pandemic.
Department of Health chief executive Nachman Ash said earlier Monday his office was concerned about the rising rate of infections and would assess growing restrictions, including limits on businesses, in next days.
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz also spoke out against the implementation of a new lockdown and insisted that less draconian measures could push the numbers down.
Israelis wear masks as they walk inside the Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv on August 9, 2021. (Miriam Alster / Flash90)
“A foreclosure has the most serious repercussions,” he told Channel 13. “We’ve been in three and we’ve seen the effect it has had on society, the economy and health.”
“We are evaluating the possibility of implementing more limits. We want to prevent mass events and overcrowding under the new measures, ”he added. “These brakes will influence the drop in the morbidity rate. “
Ash, however, left the door open to a fourth lockdown, while calling on Israelis to get vaccinated to allow the government to avoid imposing one.
He said his office was working to determine when a lockdown would be needed. Channel 12 news reported on Friday that health officials believe it will be when Israel reaches 600 to 700 severe cases. The director of the health ministry, however, said on Monday that other factors are at play in the decision.
No senior official has expressed support for a lockdown at this point, and health officials insist the goal is to avoid imposing it. However, some said it could be inevitable if the number of cases continues to rise.
“It is not clear that there is a correlation between blockages and a decrease in the number of cases and critically ill patients, but it is clear that there is a correlation between blockages and economic damage,” said Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday, comparing viruses to influenza.
The United States Centers for Disease Control on Monday urged travelers to avoid Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to high infection rates.
“Due to the current situation in Israel, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk of contracting and spreading variants of COVID-19,” the CDC said.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday called on Public Security Minister Omer Barlev and Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to strengthen law enforcement against violators of the coronavirus restrictions over the next eight weeks, even at the expense of other operations, to prevent Israel from entering a fourth lockdown.
Under the “Green Pass” rules that came into effect on Sunday, banquet halls, restaurants, gyms and hotels must limit entry to those who can prove they have been vaccinated or have recovered, although children under 12 are temporarily exempted. The restriction does not apply to stores, malls, swimming pools, places of worship with fewer than 50 people in attendance or museums, among other places.
Members of the police force who have not been vaccinated will now be required to test negative every 72 hours or miss work and be docked on a vacation day, broadcaster Kan reported on Monday. The policy was confirmed at the police station by a police spokesperson.
Of the estimated 9.3 million inhabitants of Israel, more than 5.8 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, nearly 5.4 million have received two and nearly 550,000 have received a third booster.
Data released by the Department of Health last month showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine appeared to largely prevent hospitalizations and severe cases, but is significantly less effective in preventing the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Health Ministry data released on Monday showed that fully vaccinated people accounted for most of the new cases and most of those hospitalized in moderate or worse condition.