Israel on Thursday saw over 9,000 new daily coronavirus cases for a third day in a row, health officials confirmed.
The Health Ministry said that 9,388 people tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday after some 127,768 tests had been conducted, putting the contagion rate at 7.9%.
Of the 78,215 active coronavirus patients in Israel, 1,834 are currently hospitalized. At least 1,063 are in serious condition, of whom 273 ventilated.
The official death toll now stands at 3,826 after 33 patients died due to virus-related complications on Wednesday. Since the start of January, 484 COVID-19 patients have passed away, compared to 481 in December.
According to the Health Ministry, 15,582 of the active COVID-19 patients live in Jerusalem; in Bnei Brak live 4,506 active patients; in Modi'in Illit 3,367; in Beit Shemesh 2,415; in Tel Aviv-Yafo 2,157; in Petah Tikva 2,140; in Haifa 1,999; in Ashdod 1,835; in Beitar Illit 1,746; in Elad 1,431; in Netanya 1,269; in Holon 1,131; in Be'er Sheva 1,128; In Nazareth 1,093 and in Rishon Lezion 1,031.
Due to the surge in cases and the amount of seriously ill in hospitals, the Health Ministry said it would request a one-week extension of the full lockdown that has been in effect since Thursday last week and is set to end on Sunday, January 17.
The ministry is also said to be preparing a lockdown exit strategy that will include three phases. First to reopen would be educational institutions, while restaurants and gyms would only resume operations in the final phase.
Despite the surge in cases, Israel's lauded national vaccination campaign saw 1,880,163 inoculated so far with the first vaccine shot, with some already receiving the second dose.
According to health officials, data collected from the over-60s who were the first group to be inoculated, showed the risk of contagion dropped just 14 days after receiving the first shot of the two-stage vaccine.