Although vaccinated to the max, Israel recorded the highest daily coronavirus infections per capita, with the Ministry of Health reporting more than 10,700 new cases each day.
According to The Times of Israel, Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said during a video conference on Sept. 14 that the latest numbers represent "a record that did not exist in the previous waves."
Ash said Tuesday that the current surge of coronavirus infections dwarfs past outbreaks and expressed disappointment that a recent decreasing trend seems to have reversed.
The data presented by the Health Ministry showed that 10,556 new cases of COVID-19 were identified the previous day, along with 690 people who were critically ill with the virus.
The viral positive rate increased to 5.93% from 5.24% on Sunday, based on 178,000 tests.
Overall, the nation had 83,952 virus-positive cases. With the death of 18 individuals on Tuesday, the death toll has risen to 7,297 since the outbreak began last year.
His comments to the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee via video conference came as Health Ministry statistics indicated that over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases had been identified the previous day and the positive test rate was increasing.
"That is a record that did not exist in the previous waves," he added, referring to the overwhelming third wave that came at the end of last year, which had an average of 8,000 reported cases per day with exceptional surges of over 10,000 reported cases.
Approximately 670 to 700 people are severely sick, noted Ash. Every day, 70-80 new people are admitted to hospitals with severe illnesses, which is a small decrease from the previous several weeks' figures.
Even so, Ash said that despite widespread concerns, there was no significant increase in infections after the Jewish New Year's celebration last week or the start of the school year earlier this month.
Salman Zarka, the national coronavirus czar, who was also present at the meeting, said that children accounted for 50% of the confirmed cases on Monday morning. In his statement, he said that the Health Ministry was operating on the premise that it will be confronted with a fifth wave of virus infections in the near future.
According to NTD, Israel has so far completely vaccinated about 5.56 million of its population, or 61.45%, using the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech vaccine.
On Aug. 29, the government started giving COVID-19 booster jabs to kids as young as 12, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claimed a July campaign targeting elderly citizens had halted an increase in serious sickness caused by the Delta variant. Approximately 2.7 million Israelis have reportedly taken the booster shot.
Zarka said that the ministry will prepare by continuing to use its Green Pass system, claiming that this helps to prevent virus transmission and that it will be loosened after cases of infections have decreased.
"I hope that we will pass the month of September and stabilize in October," Zarka added. "Then we will take a fresh look at the policy."
According to John Hopkins University, Israel recorded a total of 32 deaths on September 15. The total number of deaths since the outbreak of the coronavirus has now reached 7,438.
Early this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments to postpone providing COVID-19 booster doses until September so that developing countries could give their people their first dose of the shots.