After weeks of continuous decline, Israel's COVID-19 reproduction number returned to climb in recent days and has reached 0.86, the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center reported on Tuesday, raising concerns of resurging spread of the disease just days before the holiday of Purim.
A reproduction number, or R number, higher than 1 indicates infections will grow at an exponential rate, while below 1 point to their eventual halt.
According to data, 4,677 new cases of coronavirus have been detected out of some 69,000 tests conducted on Monday, meaning 7% of tests yielded a positive result, topping the 6.5% weekly average.
Of all new coronavirus patients, 77% were under the age of 39, and only 6.2% were over 60.
The report warns that despite patients' average age dropping, the extent of infections and the fact that a significant part of the population has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 cause a slow reduction of serious illness.
Officials urged Israelis to adhere to health regulations as the country emerged from a six-week lockdown two weeks ago, opening schools for children younger than 10 and allowing a growing list of industries to reopen, and as the more infectious U.K. coronavirus variant became the dominant strain in Israel.
There were 797 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in serious condition, 248 of them were connected to ventilators.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Israel, 5,604 people have died due to coronavirus-related complications.
The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday morning that over 70 percent of Israelis over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Out of 4.45 million inoculated citizens, more than 3 million have also received the second booster shot.
Some 157,000 people have been inoculated with either of both doses on Monday alone.