Israel is struggling to contain a surge in coronavirus infections with more than 10,000 new cases reported within one day for the first time since mid-January.
The Healthy Ministry reported late Wednesday that 10,001 cases were registered on Tuesday. There were 688 seriously ill patients and 25 new deaths from Covid-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, a little more than a million people in the country of 9.4 million have been infected.
Israel’s vaccination drive kicked off in December 2020. Almost 59 per cent of the population has been vaccinated twice, and almost 19 per cent three times.
Israel relies almost solely on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
At the end of July, Israel was the first country in the world to distribute a third vaccine dose in order to give a boost the body’s antibody response. Other countries have begun to follow suit.
The measure was taken after Health Ministry data showed a sharp decline in the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab in preventing infections, although it still offered strong protection from serious illness. For weeks the more aggressive Delta variant has also been spreading across the country, adding to the country’s caseload.