Israel on Thursday confirmed 966 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day spike since the virus was first detected on Feb. 21, the country’s Health Ministry said.

The country reported two more deaths from the virus over the past 24 hours, the ministry said in a statement.

Israeli authorities have so far reported 26,452 infections, including 324 deaths and 17,481 recoveries.

The number of active cases, which dropped below 2,000 last month, rose to 8,647 after a spike in recent days.

Israel lifted most of the COVID-19-related restrictions after the daily number of virus cases dropped below 20 last month.

The Israeli government relaxed a lockdown imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus, reopening schools, universities, shopping malls and restaurants.

Nevertheless, the country’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said Sunday that the country was experiencing a second wave of the pandemic and would take new measures to combat the disease.

Since originating in China last December, the pandemic has claimed over 516,500 lives in 188 countries and regions.

More than 10.71 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 5.49 million patients have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University. 

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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