The coronavirus pandemic in Israel continued its decline over the weekend, the Health Ministry said Sunday in an unusual statement issued during the Passover holiday.
Although the R number that indicates how many other people are infected by a coronavirus carrier has crept up slightly to 0.6, the spread of the virus is still falling as the number is below one.
The ministry said that 807 new coronavirus cases have been diagnosed since Friday. Of that number, 518 cases were diagnosed Friday out of some 47,000 tests conducted, putting the contagion rate at 1.1%.
On Saturday, 229 cases were diagnosed out of 15,000 tests, putting the contagion at 1.4%. On Sunday, just 60 new COVID cases were diagnosed by 10am.
The ministry said there were , 664 COVID-19 patients hospitalized around the country, of whom 458 were in serious condition and 209 connected to ventilators.
The Health Ministry also said that there had been 60 COVID patients hospitalized in serious condition since Friday, a significant drop compared to earlier in the month. On March 1 alone, 109 new patients were hospitalized in serious condition.
The national COVID-19 death toll reached 6,180 fatalities over weekend, with 10 people passing away of coronavirus-related complications on Friday and 4 on Saturday.
The number of active coronavirus carriers is also in decline and now stands at 9,996.
Jerusalem has the highest number of active cases with 1,548 active patients, followed by Tel Aviv with a significantly lower 403, Be'er Sheva with 273, Netanya with 210, Petah Tikva with 218, Haifa with 210, Holon with 196, Ashdod with 195, Rishon Lezion with 175, Ashkelon with 166, Nazareth with 158, Umm al-Fahm with 149, Lod with 145, Bat Yam with 132, Rehovot with 123, Ramla with 122 and Hadera with 117.
About 5,500 Israelis have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since Friday and about 17,000 people the second shot.
Since the launch of its world-leading vaccination campaign, Israel has already inoculated over 5.2 million of its citizens with the first dose of the vaccine and 4.7 million have had the second jab as well.
The Health Ministry added that, thanks to the success of the country's vaccination rollout, only Mas'udin al-Azazme in the Negev has a high enough infection rate to categorize it as a "red locality," according to the traffic light plan designating areas by morbidity level.
In addition, there are six "orange" localities: Kaukab Abu al-Hija in the Galilee, Hurfeish, Basma, Kaabiyah, Lakia and Mukaibla south of Afula.
The ministry added there were also several "yellow" localities, including Yarka, Beit Jann, Umm al-Fahm, Kafr Qassem, Rahat, Tifrah, Abu Ghosh and Yad Binyamin, and the settlements of Beit El, Neve Daniel and Alon Shvut.