Coronavirus ward (illustrative)
Coronavirus ward (illustrative) Nati Shohat/Flash90

Friday saw 18,780 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed, Israel's Health Ministry said Saturday evening. This is the highest number of diagnoses in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

The percentage of positive tests among the results received Friday stood at 9.48% - the highest since February 1, 2021.

Out of the current 106,107 active coronavirus cases around Israel, 448 people are hospitalized. Included in those are 172 whose condition is serious - a significant rise since Saturday last week, when there were 103 in serious condition, and even since earlier this week: On Wednesday, there were 132 in serious condition.

In addition, the condition of 63 patients is now critical, with 49 coronavirus patients intubated and 15 on ECMO (heart and lung) machines.

Since the start of the pandemic, 8,259 people have died of coronavirus in Israel, including twelve in the past seven days.

On Friday, Channel 12 News reported that health officials believe that one in three Israelis will be found to have been infected with the virus. The numbers are expected to reach a peak in about two weeks, with 200,000 confirmed cases per day, and the health establishment estimates that a total of 2-3 million Israelis will contract the virus in the coming weeks.