Health Ministry Director General Professor Hezi Levi contacted the directors of Israel's hospitals, instructing them to add beds for coronavirus patients due to the sharp rise in the number of people infected, Israel Hayom reported.
According to the document, the goal is to have a national total of 3,200 beds for coronavirus patients, instead of the current 2,000. When this goal is achieved, a quarter of Israel's hospital beds would be designated for coronavirus patients.
Levi also emphasized that "there is no place for refusal to admit patients due to a lack of hospital beds; rather, proper arrangements should be made."
"In the next two weeks, there is still no expectation that the number of patients will drop. The current burden of infection is stretching us to the limit of our abilities."
He warned that if not enough beds are added, the system will be required to use hospital beds currently in use for other patients.
In an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure experienced by those working in coronavirus wards, Levi instructed that additional staff be enlisted to help with the coronavirus patients, and that hospitals should consider lessening or canceling activities which are not urgent.
A senior Health Ministry official admitted: "We considered issuing an instruction to cease elective activities such as operations and outpatient clinics, the way we did in the first wave, but decided against it. Each hospital can make accommodations in the way that best fits its needs."
Currently, Israel's hospitals are reporting difficulty in handling the overwhelming number of patients, emphasizing that it is not clear that Israel has passed the peak of infection.