On Monday, May 31, Israel registered just four new COVID-19 infections and everyone was convinced that the Corona crisis had come to an end in the Jewish state. But in just two short months, the infection rate in Israel has increased nearly a thousandfold.
The Ministry of Health reported 3,818 new coronavirus infections on Monday with a positive test rate of 3.78 percent. Back in May, the positive test rate had dropped to zero.
And thanks to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, the numbers are climbing faster than most expected. At the end of last week, new daily infections were around 2,000, meaning they have nearly doubled in just four days.
The government said it is focusing more on the number of COVID patients hospitalized in serious condition, but that number is also increasing at a worrying rate. On June 1, just 49 Israelis were hospitalized in serious condition due to COVID-19. Today, that number stands at 221.
“The situation is worrying,” said Health Ministry director-general Nachman Ash at a press conference on Monday.
The new government’s “corona cabinet” was scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss tightening coronavirus restrictions that had been almost entirely lifted at the start of summer.
Among the list of restrictions being considered is a return of masks outdoors and the limiting of gatherings to fewer than 100 people.