Israel for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak posted over 8,000 new daily cases, once again breaking the all-time high.
The Health Ministry reported Friday morning that 8,178 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours after 66,640 tests had been conducted.
The contagion rate now stands at almost 13%, which means one out of every eight tests retrned positive.
The number of patients in serious condition has increased to 708, of whom 178 are ventilated. The official death toll has gone up to 1,412.
The tally of active patients currently ill with the disease now stands at 60,786, of whom 6,413 (more than 10%) live in Jerusalem, 3,450 in Bnei Brak, 2,470 in Ashdod and 1,894 in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem also boasts a disturbing average of 500 new coronavirus cases a day, with 3,419 new diagnoses reported in the capital over the past seven days.
In the meantime, Israel is set to enter a stricter lockdown at 2pm on Friday. Although the government wanted the shuttering of all nut essential sectors of the economy, many businesses have been excluded from the closure following pressure from economy advisors.
The "lockdown law" passed the first reading in the Knesset plenum late on Thursday. The Constitution Committee approved the law overnight and it is set to be voted on in the second and third readings in the plenum sometime on Friday morning.