The updated coronavirus infection figures, especially of seriously ill cases, call for the current 19-day lockdown to be continued after Monday, according to a consensus of health experts. Kahol Lavan defense minister Benny Gantz objects to any decisions on the matter and is holding back a government session to approve the new timeline. The hospital’s emergency and coronavirus facilities and their staffs are close to breaking point under the rising influx of seriously ill cases – 1,179 on Tuesday, with 305 on ventilators. The number of dead shot up by 74 to 4,493. The new patients, they say, are younger than in the two former waves of the virus, and in worse condition. The rapid spread of the disease to 8,667 new cases on Monday – roughly 10pc testing positive, attributed to the British variant – has shocked the Health Ministry, forcing it to go back on its plan for a staged exit from the lockdown starting next Monday.