Israel has recorded its highest daily number of coronavirus cases with nearly 11,000 new infections, amid a surge caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant as schools prepare to re-open.
The previous high came on 18 January, with 10,118 cases.
Despite Tuesday’s 10,947 confirmed cases, Israel is pressing ahead with plans to fully open its school system on Wednesday as it tries to boost vaccination rates.
The prime minister, Naftali Bennett – a critic of the cycle of lockdowns implemented by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu – has maintained that the surge can be controlled through vaccination and protective measures such as masks.
His government has encouraged all residents aged 12 and above to get a third jab of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
About 60% of Israel’s 9.3 million residents have received two shots of the vaccine, including 80% of adults.
In December, Israel became one of the first countries to launch a national vaccination campaign. It brought daily infections down to a trickle and by June nearly all pandemic restrictions were lifted.
Several measures have since been reimposed, including mask wearing indoors, limits on gatherings and the need to present proof of vaccination for entry to certain facilities.
Bennett has said that the rollout of the booster jab programme was showing results, notably by restricting the rise in hospitalisations.