Israel on Thursday recorded over 5,000 new daily coronavirus cases for the third day in a row diagnosed a day earlier.
The Health Ministry said 5,253 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday after 96,835 tests had been conducted, placing the contagion rate at 5.5%.
Out of the 42,402 patients battling the disease, 639 are in serious condition, with 165 connected to ventilators. The death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands 3,314.
Israel's coronavirus czar said Wednesday evening the nationwide lockdown in its current form is not effective enough in bringing down the infection and needs to be much stricter.
Prof. Nachman Ash said in a meeting with heads of local authorities that the Health Ministry will have to recommend tightening of the lockdown, which Israel entered on Sunday evening.
"There is a big question mark over the effectiveness of the lockdown, in the coming days we will probably have to recommend tightening it," he said. "I am very concerned that we will not be able to vaccinate enough people [before infection surges]."
The Health Ministry also reported Thursday that almost 800,000 Israelis have already received the first of the two needed doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Keeping at a pace of 150,000 injections a day, almost 30% of the country's over 60 population has already been inoculated, with 7.74% of the general population vaccinated.
"Within 11 days of Operation Latet Katef (Give Shoulder) we vaccinated almost 800,000 civilians," said Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.
"Thank you to the medical staff for the hard and important work, always provided with a smile! Thanks to the medical staff and the rapid deployment of no less than 257 vaccination stations, Israel has already vaccinated more than 150,000 people a day," he added.