Lockdown enforcement in Jerusalem
Lockdown enforcement in JerusalemOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israel’s Health Ministry is quietly drawing up plans for yet another nation-wide lockdown, a senior ministry official said, as the number of new cases of the coronavirus in Israel continuing to rise.

A report by Yediot Aharanot Monday morning cited a top Health Ministry official who warned that unless the outbreaks of the Delta Variant are contained in the near future and the trends in infection rates reversed, a new lockdown is all but guaranteed.

“It is obvious to everyone that if we don’t succeed in getting control of this thing, then we’re heading for a lockdown,” the official said.

Health Ministry officials estimate that if the government does move to impose a new lockdown, the fourth since March 2020, it will be put into effect during the upcoming holiday season.

The number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus rose to 2,094 Saturday, with 3.18% of all tests conducted coming back positive.

As of Sunday, there were 18,374 active known cases of the virus in Israel, of which 367 were hospitalized.

The number of seriously ill inched upwards Sunday to 206, while the number of critically ill and intubated remained relatively low, with 43 patients in critical condition and 37 on respirators.