Israel has recorded 3,843 coronavirus cases on Thursday, the Israeli Health Ministry reported Friday, as well as 253 serious coronavirus cases.
Of all the coronavirus tests conducted on Thursday, 3.79 percent returned positive, a slightly higher number than the day prior. 6,509 Israelis have died so far from the virus.
5.8 million Israelis have received their first coronavirus shot, and 5.3 have received their second coronavirus vaccine. Over 349,000 Israelis have received the third coronavirus vaccine, as fears of a fourth wave due to the delta variant are gaining traction.
LISTEN: How Israel’s Olympic hero challenged a nation’s identity
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Wednesday that the government sees another lockdown as a measure of last resort and that it can still be avoided if the public follows restrictions and if more people get vaccinated. "We will do the maximum to avoid a lockdown," he said.
- Israel's COVID rhetoric turns grim, reflecting real trouble
- Israel's exhausted hospitals fear wave of serious COVID cases
- Talk of another COVID lockdown is sending tremors through the Israeli economy
- Serious COVID cases keep climbing as Israel mulls fourth lockdown
Israel will introduce a slew of tightened restrictions on Sunday, following Tuesday's three-hour-long coronavirus cabinet meeting. The new regulations include limiting gatherings to those with proof of immunity and encouraging working from home.
"Our goal is to keep Israel open while preventing a situation where hospitals fill up, and we'll have a shortage of beds," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the opening of a COVID-19 testing center earlier on Wednesday, adding that "we know how to slam on the breaks" if such a situation arises.