Health Ministry data released Tuesday showed Israel saw over 10,000 new coronavirus cases diagnosed the previous day — the second day in a row that the number has crossed that threshold since the start of April.

There were 10,692 people diagnosed with the virus on Monday, with a further 982 since midnight Tuesday taking the number of active cases to 60,622.

The number of patients in serious condition also continued to rise, reaching 180, with 36 of them classified as critical.

While Israel has seen rising infection numbers for a few weeks, an increase in seriously ill patients presents a real concern as the country deals with the spread of the new BA.5 variant.

Health Ministry officials have told hospital directors that they should begin preparations for the reopening of dedicated COVID-19 wards.

The virus reproduction number (R) fell slightly to 1.3, having reached 1.52 earlier in the month. The R figure is based on rates from 10 days earlier, and it measures how many people each coronavirus carrier infects on average, with any number above 1 meaning the spread of COVID-19 is increasing. It began to rise above 1 in mid-May, having previously stayed below that threshold for nearly two months. CLICK on here to read more.

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