Israel on Wednesday saw over 8,000 new daily coronavirus cases for a second day in a row, health officials said.
The Health Ministry reported that on Tuesday 8,164 people tested positive for COVID-19, after 121,816 tests had been conducted, placing the contagion rate at 6.8%.
Out of 59,229 patients battling the disease, 824 are in serious condition, with 207 connected to ventilators. The official death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at 3,495.
In the first five days of January, 139 coronavirus patients had passed away, with an average of 28 deaths per day. On Monday alone, 39 patients lost their lives.
There are nine cities in Israel that each has more than 1,000 active virus patients. In Jerusalem there are 11,976 active patients, in Bnei Brak 2,758, in Modi'in Illit 1,988, in Tel Aviv-Yafo 1,718, in Beit Shemesh 1,653, in Haifa 1,585, in Ashdod 1,541, In Petah Tikva 1,421 and in Beitar Illit 1,166.
In the meantime, Israel's much-praised, high-speed coronavirus vaccination campaign appeared to show signs of slowing on Tuesday as the country's first and second largest HMOs, Clalit and Maccabi, announced they were halting the delivery of first doses from next week.
As a result, only 115,100 people received the first vaccine shot on Tuesday, much lower than the 150,000-average reported in the past few days. In total, over 1,485,000 Israelis have already received the first dose of the vaccine, meaning one in six Israelis were given the first jab.