The Health Ministry on Thursday evening reported 668 new cases of coronavirus in Israel in the past 24 hours, as Military Intelligence called for drastic steps to curb this fresh resurgence of the virus.
Out of the 6,084 patients currently battling the virus, 47 are in serious condition with 29 connected to ventilators.
Military Intelligence on Thursday issued a report recommending the government reconsider its decision to lift public restrictions imposed due to the spread of coronavirus.
The report calls for more public engagement on the dangers posed by the virus and the need to adhere to medical directives in order to fight the increased contagion.
It also urges more testing and tracing efforts to stop clusters of contagion.
The Health Ministry has also urged healthcare providers to step up their testing and tracing measures in hot spots, namely Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Ashdod and Bnei Brak.
The MI report states that since the beginning of June there has been a clear increase in severe cases of COVID-19, seen as an indication of the prevalence of the disease in the population regardless of the amount of testing conducted by health authorities.
In fact, the report says, it displays how widespread coronavirus is in Israel especially among older people.
Severe illness in COVID-19 patients appears days or weeks after being infected by the virus and the current hospitalization figures represent the nationwide spread of preceding weeks, suggesting that the true number of severely ill cases is greater than can currently be observed.
The IDF warned that Israel is entering a second wave of the pandemic, and that it will be no less severe than the first.
The Education Ministry announced on Thursday that 837 students and staff are ill with COVID-19 and 230 schools and educational institutions have been closed after having cases of the virus detected among their members. A total of 22,850 teachers and educational staff are currently in preventive quarantine.
The southern city of Ashdod announced it would be shuttering schools and synagogues as of Friday in some city quarters where contagion has been on the rise.
The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan - Israel's largest hospital, has re-opened the underground coronavirus ward it shut down in May, which can accommodate 90 severely ill patients with COVID-19.
First published: 20:16 , 06.25.20