4,038 new cases were recorded on Thursday; a slight increase from the previous day. Of the 33,920 active cases, 489 were in serious condition and 134 of them on ventilators. Another 180 were in moderate condition, with the rest displaying mild or no symptoms.
Since the start of the pandemic, 146,542 Israelis have contracted the virus and 111,539 have recovered. The death toll currently stands at 1,054.
Testing rates in Israel are also high with 47,000 conducted on Thursday, of which 8.8% returned positive.
With the rise in cases, ministers voted on Thursday to impose a full lockdown nationwide starting next week ahead of the Jewish high holidays.
The lockdown will take place in three stages, according to ministers. The first stage will likely go into effect shortly before the onset of Rosh Hashanah, on 18th September, the second phase around 1st October and the last around 15th October.
In the first stage of restrictions, Israelis movements will be limited to 500 metres from their homes and will include the closures of schools, restaurants, shopping malls, markets and event venues.
In the second phase, travel between cities will not be allowed. Outdoor gatherings will be capped at 20 people, and indoor gatherings at 10. Most spaces will remain closed including restaurants, shopping malls, markets and event venues.
In the third and final phase, the government will impose coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu’s “traffic light” plan, which addresses each city and town based on its morbidity rate.
Israel was widely praised in the spring for its reaction to the pandemic, with early action that contained the spread of infection and saw a very low death rate compared to other countries. The Israeli government is now coming under criticism domestically for ‘losing control’.