The number of new coronavirus cases in Israel surged to their highest level since October, even as the country awoke to day three of its latest lockdown and a vaccination campaign entered its second week.
According to the health ministry, 5,449 new coronavirus cases were reported on Monday. The previous day, the country entered its third nationwide lockdown, with restrictions on movement, activities and the operation of nonessential businesses. At least 3,256 people have died from coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Israel continued to push ahead with vaccinations, with an additional 115,000 people receiving their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. At least 495,000 people have been vaccinated.
“In nine vaccination days we have vaccinated more than all those infected since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, referring to the total of 409,147 Israelis who have come down with Covid.
Health workers, at-risk groups and people over 60 have been first in line to receive the vaccine in Israel. On Monday, a 75-year-old man died shortly after receiving his first dose. In a statement, the health ministry said he suffered from active heart disease and that he’d previously had a number of heart attacks: “Initial examination does not show a link between the unfortunate event and the vaccine.”