A total of 74,312 new daily coronavirus cases were recorded on Sunday, a significant increase from the previous day’s total of 49,371. Of some 250,000 tests taken on Sunday, both PCR and antigen, 29.73% returned positive results.
Serious cases now stand at 1,099, with 241 people on ventilators and 20 on ECMO machines. 332 people are in critical condition. To date, 8,724 people have died of COVID-19 in Israel since the start of the pandemic.
Of those currently hospitalized in serious condition, 520 are vaccinated, 117 are partially vaccinated, 427 are unvaccinated, and the status of the remainder is unknown. The majority of serious cases are being reported in people age 60 and over.
There are currently 421,490 active cases in Israel, according to a Monday morning update from the Health Ministry. Overall, there have been 2,852,995 reported cases in Israel since the start of the pandemic, approximately 31% of the population.
Currently, around 108,000 people are self-isolating, roughly 7,500 of whom are health workers.
Coronavirus Czar Prof. Salman Zarka held a press conference on Monday afternoon, answering questions relating to the new school testing system, Israel's fight against the virus, and the overcrowding in hospitals.
Asked if the government would consider putting new restrictions in place given the high number of serious cases and the pressure the current wave is putting on the healthcare system, Zarka answered in the negative.
"I don't want to stop the lives of everyone on the outside [of the hospital]," he said, adding that the number of serious cases is expected to soon peak and then gradually decrease. "We want everyone to be aware of the high danger that the virus presents. The way to protect ourselves is by wearing masks, over the mouth and over the nose, to avoid crowded spaces...these are the steps that we should be taking these days to prevent high infection rates."
Zarka continued, explaining why he did not believe that harsher restrictions would be the right choice at this stage in the pandemic.
"I believe in finding the middle ground between the pandemic and our lives. God forbid that two years into the pandemic we should be in lockdown...we must learn to live alongside it.
"I think that the new system implemented in schools is exactly that, learning to live alongside the coronavirus."