JERUSALEM

Israel saw a record rise in coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with 1,977 new cases, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

A ministry statement said three people succumbed to the virus in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 54,663, including 430 deaths, and 22,647 recoveries.

Earlier this month, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned that the government might impose a lockdown if the country sees a surge of 2,000 cases a day.

Israel lifted most of the COVID-19 measures after the daily number of virus cases dropped below 20 last month, reopening schools, universities, shopping malls and restaurants.

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The US, Brazil, India, and Russia are currently the countries hardest hit in the world.

The pandemic has killed nearly 617,200 people worldwide, with more than 14.9 million confirmed cases, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The number of recoveries from the pandemic across the globe has topped 8.4 million.

*Ibrahim Mukhtar contributed to this report from Ankara.

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