Israel on Wednesday said although its coronavirus contagion rate is now the lowest it has been in months, the infection spread has increased once again.
The Health Ministry said that on Tuesday 4,265 people tested positive for COVID-19 after 91,122 tests had been conducted, putting the contagion rate at 4.7% - the lowest the figure has been since December.
The ministry also said that 717 patients are hospitalized in serious condition, of whom 224 are ventilated. The official death toll now stands at 5,797 after 19 more patients died from the disease on Tuesday.
The basic reproduction number (R number), meanwhile, has risen once again and now stands at worrying 1, according to the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center, a special IDF taskforce.
In the Arab sector, the basic reproduction number has dropped slightly and now stands at 1.12, while in the ultra-Orthodox community the R number has increased and now stands at 0.86.
The taskforce's report says the increase in the R number is likely related to the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the spread of the British variant, which has long become the dominant one in Israel. The UK strain is believed to be much more contagious compared to previous strains and significantly increases the risk of serious illness and hospitalization.
The center also said 48.5% of those diagnosed on Tuesday are under the age of 19. In this age group, the vast majority of cases suffer from mild symptoms.