Israel’s death toll topped 3,000 on Monday as the number of new daily coronavirus cases continues to rise and the specter of a third lockdown by the end of the month becomes increasingly likely.
The Health Ministry confirmed 1,710 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with tests showing a positivity rate of 3.4%. The number of daily cases has averaged about 1,750 in the past week, up from about 750 just several weeks ago.
According to a report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center on Monday, the number of daily cases is expected to increase even further to about 2,500 by the end of the month based on the current reproduction number of 1.15 to 1.2. The government has already made a decision that if new daily cases surpass 2,500 or the reproduction rate reaches 1.32, restrictions will be tightened.
There are currently 17,691 active cases with 353 patients in serious condition, of whom 122 are ventilated. The death toll has risen to 3,003.
Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem opened another coronavirus ward on Sunday due to the increased number of coronavirus patients. The hospital now has three coronavirus wards and one coronavirus ICU unit.
Meanwhile, the number of health workers in quarantine has more than doubled in one week, increasing from 1,000 to 2,046, the first time since October 11 that over 2,000 health employees are in quarantine.
Coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said on Monday morning that Israelis will be able to resume “normal life” within a few months with the help of vaccines.
“I estimate that within a few months – in March, April – we will already have vaccinated a significant number of Israelis so that we can open up the economy, return to being active and more or less return to a normal life,” he told Army Radio. ” “I hope we can celebrate this Pesach without restrictions on gatherings, surrounded by our families.”