Police blockade during the lockdown
Police blockade during the lockdownYossi Aloni/Flash90

Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash warned Thursday morning that a lockdown may be needed by the end of August.

"Right now, I would give a chance for the third dose and the other steps taken will work," Prof. Ash told Galei Zahal. "We will need to make another decision in two or three weeks, maybe even in August."

"We don't want to reach the point of a lockdown, but the reality may cause that to be a necessary step. We began the campaign for a third dose in order to reduce serious illness, and if we see a drop, it could be that it will prevent - or postpone - harsher steps."

Earlier on Thursday, Israel's Health Ministry reported 3,421 new coronavirus diagnoses. Of the 25,463 people with active cases of coronavirus, 460 are hospitalized, 241 are in serious condition, 66 are in critical condition, and 51 are intubated.

Meanwhile, the Delta coronavirus variant is spreading among Arab communities in Israel, fueled by recent returnees from Turkey.

In addition to the infections imported from Turkey, Ayman Saif, Israel's coronavirus coordinator for the Arab sector, emphasized that there are unreported cases of coronavirus among the Arab population.