Israel reported Sunday nearly 5,000 new daily COVID-19 cases diagnosed the previous day and the highest contagion rate in the past four months as the country battles the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
The Health Ministry said 4,197 people tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday out of 92,500 tests conducted. The figures put the national infection rate at 4.57% - the highest the figure has been since September.
In the past week, 26,857 new COVID cases were diagnosed, compared to some 9,081 cases reported in the week prior, marking a three-fold jump in the overall number of coronavirus infections.
Meanwhile, Israel's coronavirus R number — which gauges how many new cases crop up as a result of a single infection — has also seen an increase and now stands at 1.84, which indicates the accelerated spread of the pathogen.
Israeli hospitals are currently treating 200 COVID patients, of whom 110 are in serious condition, a marked increase of no less than 33% compared to last week, of whom 37 are ventilated.
According to the Health Ministry, about 78% of all severe patients have not been vaccinated against coronavirus at all.
Since the start of the pandemic, 8,244 Israelis succumbed to coronavirus-related complications.
Director of the General of the Health Ministry's Medicine Department, Dr. Sigal Liverant-Taub, meanwhile, said the number of inoculated COVID patients entering hospitalization has increased.
"We are hospitalizing many more vaccinated patients. We do not have complete data regarding the Omicron. We know that we have six positive patients for Omicron, most of them in mild and moderate condition," she added.
The country's list of "red" local authorities - where a significant spike in COVID infections has been reported - also continues to grow amid the Omicron's spread.
Among Israel's red local authorities are: Ma'ale Adumim, Revava, Kiryat Ono, Ganei Tikva, Mevaseret Zion, Or Yehuda, Kadima-Tzoran, Beit Dagan, Shoham, Kfar Kanna, Hod Hasharon, Yavne, Raanana, Beit El, Azur, Givat Shmuel, Yad Binyamin, Geva Binyamin, Ramat Hasharon, Ness Ziona, Rishon Lezion, Tzur Hadassah, Bracha, Kfar Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Karmiel, Even Yehuda, Hashmonaim, Givatayim, Alon Hagalil, Alon Shvut, Modiin Maccabim Reut, Mitzpe Jericho, Rosh HaAyin, Holon and Nazareth.