Israel surpassed 1,600 coronavirus-related fatalities, counting over one hundred deaths within 3 days and 29 of them in the previous 24 hours, the Health Ministry reported Thursday evening.
Health authorities have also confirmed 5,507 new cases of coronavirus out of 43,261 tests conducted by Thursday evening, with 1 in 8 of them yielding a positive result, placing the national infection rate at 12.1%.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Israel, 252,533 Israelis have tested positive for coronavirus and 71,956 of them are still battling the pathogen. Among the ill are 817 patients in serious condition, 186 of them connected to ventilators.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that if the current nationwide lockdown does not show any success in stemming the spread of the virus, "we will need to tighten it."
"The only way we can minimize the morbidity rate is through a tight lockdown," he said during a Facebook Live event.
"If the current regulations allow lowering the infection rate, we had done our job and do not need to change anything. If not, we will need to amend certain aspects," the premier said.
Netanyahu also said that ministers will meet on Monday to decide on any possible changes to the lockdown after examining available data.
Also on Thursday, the IDF announced Thursday it will open two dedicated coronavirus wards at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, which will be manned by medical officers and personnel.
This will be the first time the military, which has a rich history of extraterritorial humanitarian relief missions across the globe, treats civilians within the country's borders.