Coronavirus test
Coronavirus test Yehonatan Veltzer/TPS

A senior Health Ministry official warned on Wednesday that Israel is on the verge of a second wave that will lead to a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus, Channel 13 News reported on Wednesday.

The official said that it is not possible to link all the infections across the country to the recent spread of the virus in high schools.

He added, "The hospitals have difficult cases the likes of which we haven’t seen in two months."

The Ministry of Education said earlier on Wednesday that 51 schools have been shut down after 261 cases of coronavirus infection were discovered among their students and teaching staff. About 8,000 teachers and students are in isolation.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health reported that 32 Israelis had been diagnosed with coronavirus in the last 24 hours and the total number of cases was 2,103. Of the active cases, 27 are in serious condition and 25 are on respirators.

Among the new infections are parents of a baby born on Tuesday at Beilinson Hospital and transferred to the premature ward at the Schneider Center.

The mother, who is hospitalized at Beilinson in a separate compound, did not visit the premature ward, but the father stayed there that evening. The baby tested negative for the virus.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the virus stands at 291 after a 71-year-old carrier who suffered from underlying conditions passed away at Hadassah Hospital. The patient was hospitalized in serious condition during the past month.