A government-ordered nationwide lockdown was set to go into effect Friday as Health Ministry statistics showed that Israel’s coronavirus numbers had reached record levels.
The education system and most non-essential businesses will be closed for at least two weeks with Israelis restricted to remaining within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of their homes except to get food and medical care.
Health Ministry statistics released Friday showed 7,755 Israelis tested positive for coronavirus in the past day, bringing the total number of confirmed active infections to 61,031. Of the 1,390 people hospitalized with coronavirus, more than half, 700, are listed in serious condition with 176 people breathing with the help of ventilators.
The number of those hospitalized has doubled in the past two months. Several hospitals reported they have exceeded their capacity and were sending coronavirus patients to other healthcare facilities.
Since Thursday the death toll from coronavirus rose by 29 to 1,405. With dozens of dead now adding to the daily count, health officials expressed fears this week that another 1,000 people or more might die in the next two months.