For the first time since the start of the outbreak in Israel, more than 600 coronavirus patients are hospitalized in a serious condition, health officials said Saturday evening.
The Health Ministry reported 604 people are suffering from serious symptoms, of whom 165 are ventilated.
The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center said the number of seriously ill patients has increased by 20% in the past two weeks, putting an enormous toll on the health system.
The ministry added that another 5,299 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, after 53,993 tests had been conducted. The figures again put the contagion rate at 10%.
The death toll from coronavirus-related complications has increased to 1,226 after another 30 people died from the pathogen in the passed 24 hours.
The number of active patients currently ill with the disease is now 49,927, bringing the tally of confirmed carriers since the start of the outbreak in Israel to 183,602.
On Friday, Israel entered a three-week, natonwide lockdown to try to contain the outbreak that has steadily worsened for months.
The lockdown, which began at 2pm will be enforced by 7,000 police and military troops, will include the closure of many businesses and strict limits on public gatherings, and will largely confine people to their homes.
The closures coincide with the Jewish High Holidays, when people typically visit their families and gather for large prayer services.