For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Israel on Monday recorded more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases.
The Health Ministry said on Tuesday that 10,021 confirmed cases were found on Monday after 100,000 tests conducted, indicating a 10.2% positivity rate.
So far, 4,049 Israelis have succumbed to the pathogen.
Out of 81,059 patients battling the disease, 1,114 are in serious condition, with 277 connected to ventilators.
According to data collected by Oxford University, Israel leads the world in daily confirmed cases per capita for the past week.
The record-breaking number of cases confirmed could be attributed to the county's extensive testing effort which places Israel fourth in testing after Austria, the UAE and Luxemburg.
Meanwhile, hospitals continue to report their coronavirus wards are nearing capacity. On Monday, Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem informed the Health Ministry they would not be able to receive more patients and are requesting to divert new cases to hospitals in the center of the country.
The government was set to meet later on Tuesday to decide on an extension to the lockdown that has been in effect since January 1 and is due to expire on Thursday, with ministers debating whether extend restrictions for an additional two weeks.
According to health officials, the number of seriously ill patients has not yet shown a decline and the disease is manifesting with grave symptoms in more younger patients.
"We are still in the midst of this latest wave of COVID-19 and ending the lockdown now would not lower daily infections sufficiently," one official said adding that an extension of the restrictions for one week would not be enough.
The Health Ministry is preparing for opposition from some cabinet ministers who say a 10-day extension to the lockdown is sufficient and that the strict restrictions should be lifted on January 31.
Blue & White cabinet members have already said that enforcement of restrictions should then be concentrated in ultra-Orthodox areas where contagion is surging and mitigation efforts were being ignored with at least 15% of learning institutions operating despite the lockdown.
Ministers will also be asked to approve new restrictions including shutting down the Ben Gurion International Airport for all but essential travel and demanding a negative coronavirus test from anyone wishing to enter the country.
There will also be required quarantine in government-run hotels for Israelis arriving from countries that have thus far been exempt from this requirement.
First published: 09:01 , 01.19.21