Nearly a quarter of a million Israelis have been infected with coronavirus since the start of January, after the Health Ministry reported Wednesday evening that 16,962 new cases had been diagnosed since midnight.
Hospitals across Israeli are treating 802 patients, with 257 of them in serious condition, out of which 64 are connected to ventilators.
According to the ministry's data, out of the 32 new seriously ill — 12 are under the age of 40, 11 of which are unvaccinated; 16 are aged 40-49, with 15 unvaccinated; 25 are aged 50-59 with 16 unvaccinated.
Most of the current severe cases are among those over the age of 60.
According to the ministry's data, unvaccinated over the age of 60 are eight times more likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus than those who are vaccinated.
Since the start of the pandemic, 8,290 Israelis have succumbed to coronavirus-related complications, with 38 of them occurring since the start of January.
A senior health expert said Wednesday that Israel will likely see over two million active cases in two weeks.
Prof. Eran Segal from the Weizmann Institute told Ynet that research around the world has shown the true number of Omicron infections is three or four times higher than those identified in testing.
Segal has developed a coronavirus prediction model that is used by the coronavirus cabinet.
"It is possible that one out of every 15 Israelis is either infected or can infect others," he said. "At the peak of the Omicron wave, some two million Israelis will be infected and in total anywhere between two and four million will have been exposed to the virus.
Segal said the peak will come within the next two weeks and will be followed by an eventual drop in morbidity.