New daily Covid-19 cases in Israel rose past 2,000 for a second day this week. Its health ministry said Thursday around 2,260 people tested positive the day before and that number has increased.
The ministry said based on the number of tests it has since conducted, the country's infection rate was now 2.4%. The ministry said out of the 2,260 positive tests, 212 had arrived in the country on international flights.
Of the 212 people, 62 had arrived in Israel from Turkey, 51 from Greece, 18 from the U.S., 18 from Georgia, six from Russia and five from Bulgaria.
The ministry said that 153 patients out of the 2,260 people that tested positive are now in critical condition. The ministry said 102 of those that were in critical condition were aged 65 and above. 76 of the infected were fully vaccinated, the ministry said.
Sources familiar with the matter said Israel's pandemic task force is set to hold a meeting with officials next week to discuss possible responses to the surge in infections. The task force is expected to recommend giving people a third vaccine shot, sources said.
Sources said if the health ministry agrees with the recommendation, a vaccination campaign to administer third shots could begin as early as next week.
Israel has already begun to give booster shots to people with compromised immune systems, including those over 65 years old. The nation has also authorized the rollout of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine for vulnerable children aged between five and 11.
Israeli officials approved the vaccination of children earlier in the week as cases of the highly contagious Delta variant rose sharply. Officials said the vaccines will primarily be given to children with a high likelihood of serious illness or death from Covid-19. This includes children with underlying conditions such as obesity, heart failure and chronic lung disease.
Instead of the normal 30 microgram dose, children will be given a lower dosage of only 10 micrograms - as instructed by Pfizer. The pharmaceutical company has yet to release any clinical data on the efficacy of its vaccine on children aged between five and 11. Pfizer said it expects to have study results by September.