Around 38% of Israel’s 9 million population have received at least one vaccine dose, the Health Ministry says. But government goals of achieving 50% coverage and reopening the economy next month have been challenged as the daily vaccination pace ebbs.

“We are in a national emergency,” Netanyahu told reporters.

“I want to give you a jarring fact: Over the last month – the last 30 days – 1,536 people have died (of COVID-19) in the State of Israel. More than 97% of them had not been vaccinated. Fewer than 3% had been vaccinated.”