The Health Ministry reported Thursday morning that 1,460 Israelis are hospitalized with COVID-19 - 873 of them were in serious condition, nearing the record figures recorded at the beginning of October, and 210 patients were on ventilators.
Health authorities conducted 129,711 coronavirus tests on Wednesday, 7,820 of which returned positive, meaning 6.2%. of all tested yielded a positive result.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel, 3,527 people have died of COVID-19.
Earlier Thursday, the ministry also reported that some 17.5% of Israelis have been inoculated against coronavirus, 91,300 people vaccinated on Wednesday alone.
In addition, those who have contracted coronavirus after being getting the first vaccine dose will, reportedly, not receive the second one.
In total, 1.53 million people have received at least one shot of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
An official for Moderna Inc. told Ynet Wednesday that the first shipment of the company's coronavirus vaccine is set to arrive in the coming days, but did not detail the exact number of doses.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, said that the first batch of Moderna's vaccine will arrive in Israel on Thursday. The premier added that the new shot, which can be distributed much more easily than the Pfizer version thanks to less demanding logistical requirements, will be earmarked for those struggling to arrive at a medical center to receive it.
Israel was set to tighten its lockdown measures for at least the coming two weeks starting overnight Thursday, after a series of restrictions implemented over the past week and a half failed to reduce coronavirus morbidity.
The educational system will remain closed nationwide except, barring special education institutions; gatherings will be limited to five people indoors and up to 10 people outdoors; all nonessential workplaces will stop operations; all professional sports activities will be canceled and Israelis will be prohibited from venturing more than one kilometer (0.6 miles) away from home and staying in other households.
The head of the Israel Police operations unit, Commander Yishai Shalom, said during a briefing Wednesday that police will erect dozens of checkpoints along the country's highways in order to effectively enforce travel restrictions.
Shalom said that about 15 checkpoints will be set up throughout the country between 7am and 7pm, while further 25 posts will operate between 7pm and 11pm, and between 11pm and 7am every day.