Israel on Thursday reported its daily new case count exceeded 1,5oo for the first time since the second lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the virus, was lifted in October.
The Health Ministry said there were 1,523 new cases confirmed on Wednesday after 69,000 tests conducted, indicating a 2.2% positivity rate and say the R number indicating community spread has risen to 1.2.
There are 539 people battling COVID-19 in hospitals, 267 of them are in serious condition with 99 on ventilators.
Since the start of the pandemic, 2,883 people have died from the disease.
The month-long lockdown, the second to be imposed on Israelis, was lifted on October 14. After the government adopted a gradual exit strategy allowing a limited number of businesses to operate and opening kindergartens and schools to resume, health officials said ministers opted for more rapid lifting of restrictions disregarding alarming morbidity increases.
Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said on Thursday that he and officials in the ministry will request a meeting of the so-called Coronavirus Cabinet to decide on immediate steps to slow the spread of the virus.
"I would close shopping malls," Kisch said in an interview on Ynet, but insisted schools should remain open despite the rise in morbidity. "That is the only thing that should be a priority," he said.
On Wednesday, the Director General of the Health Ministry Professor Hezi Levy said Israel will soon see 2,000 daily cases of COVID-19. "We are on a slippery slope," he said.
First published: 09:27 , 12.03.20