The Health Ministry reported on Monday its highest single-day leap in coronavirus cases in months after 1,760 Israelis have tested positive for pathogen out of some 94,300 tests conducted the previous day but hospitalizations remained stable across the country.
Israeli hospitals were treating 87 COVID-19 patients in serious condition, down from 96 on Sunday. Health Ministry data showed that nearly 86% of severe cases were reported among unvaccinated patients. The unvaccinated also accounted for over 95% of all severe cases in the under 60 age group.
Surging morbidity is largely attributed to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant throughout the country, cases of which are doubling every two and a half days according to Health Ministry data presented to the government Monday morning.
According to the findings, 50% of all virus carriers who went through an epidemiological interrogation were infected with the new strain.
As of Saturday evening, 1,118 Omicron cases were detected in Israel, 723 of which in travelers returning from abroad, but estimates place that figure much higher.
A representative of the National Coronavirus Information and Knowledge Center warned that while confirmed daily cases of the Delta variant took a month to break 1,000, the highly contagious Omicron strain could top 100,00 daily cases within a month at its current spread rate.
Meanwhile, the number of active coronavirus carriers continued to rise on Monday, exceeding 13,000. However, most of them report mild to no symptoms at all. The Israeli cities that have reported the most active cases are Jerusalem with 1,856, followed by Rishon LeZion with 824 and Tel Aviv with 741 active cases.
Of the active patients, 5,695 were students, 892 of them have tested positive for the virus on Sunday alone. According to the Health Ministry, 45,345 students were self-isolating, a sharp increase compared to a week before.
Following the outbreak of the fifth wave, the coronavirus cabinet approved a series of new restrictions, including an outline that would only allow in-person learning in cities with bad COVID-19 outbreaks if at least 70% of students have been vaccinated. If immunization rates are below 70%, schools will have to revert to distance learning.