Israel is continuing to see a steady decline in the number of coronavirus cases in the wake of its massive vaccine campaign, with the daily percentage of positive tests falling below 1%, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.
Out of the 42,328 tests conducted Monday, just 0.9% returned positive, the ministry said. At the beginning of March, the positivity rate stood at 9.3%.
The country currently has 8,268 active cases of the virus, of which 638 involve hospitalization. There are 423 patients in serious condition, including 206 people who have been placed on a ventilator.
The dramatic drop in infection rates has been largely attributed to the success of the vaccination campaign that began in December. Israel has delivered at least one dose of the two-stage vaccine to 5.2 million of its 9 million population and both doses to 4.7 million people.
The national death toll from COVID-19 stood at 6,188 on Tuesday, with seven people succumbing to the disease the day before.
Israel has taken major steps to reopen its economy, after three nationwide lockdowns aimed at stemming the spread of the virus.
Large swathes of the country are now open to holders of a "Green Pass," which indicates that the bearer has had both doses of the vaccine more than a week earlier. Those who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 can dine indoors at restaurants, use gyms, attend cultural and sports events, travel abroad and more.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has urged those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so at the earliest opportunity.
"There is no reason to wait. You see how effective the vaccines are and how dangerous COVID-19 can be," he said earlier this month.
Israel on Tuesday also reopened the Taba border crossing between Eilat and Egypt's Sinai peninsula for nationals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the disease.
Under a plan approved by the government last week, up to 300 people per day will be able to use the crossing in each direction. Sinai is a popular destination for Israeli tourists during holiday seasons.