Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem / POOL
Vaccinated teens featured at news conference held in Maccabi inoculation center in Holon. Israeli Prime Minister Prime Minister Naftali Bennet and Israeli Health Minister Health Nitzan Horowitz spoke with reporters at the briefing. June 29 2021.

Israel’s Health Ministry reported Saturday there were 323 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed on Friday, bringing the number of active cases of the virus to 2,398 – the highest since April 6.

Since midnight Friday into Saturday, there were at least 137 cases of the virus reported, bringing the weekend total to 460 new cases of the coronavirus.

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The positivity rate was 0.5 percent both on Friday and on the Sabbath. The number of patients listed in serious/critical condition from the virus has risen to 31.

The death toll in Israel from the virus remains at 6,429. Only one Israeli has died from the virus in the past two weeks.

More than 100,000 teens ages 12 to 16 have been vaccinated in the government’s ongoing campaign to inoculate Israeli youths. “This is an unprecedented achievement,” the Health Ministry said in its statement.

The ministry said more than 5.62 million out of Israel’s 9.3-plus million citizens have received at least one dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Of those, nearly 5.2 million Israelis are fully vaccinated, having received both shots of the coronavirus vaccine.

Once authorities have expanded the existing COVID-19 testing stations at Ben Gurion International Airport, up to 2,500 PCR tests will be carried out every hour, according to Israel’s Transportation and Defense Ministries.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.