A vaccine for COVID-19, the viral illness caused by the novel coronavirus, may be within reach sooner than many experts predicted.

Israel recorded an unusual increase in daily number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

The Health Ministry said that there has been 64 new cases within the last 24 hours, a significantly higher number than the daily rates recorded over the past week.

According to a report from ynet news website, ministry officials were set to discuss the increase later on Friday, adding that there had been a total of 18 new cases in just one school in Jerusalem.

Restaurants, pools and bars opened their doors to guests earlier this week.

Social distancing and hygiene rules remain in place, and people are requested to wear masks and maintain the proper distance.

According to the Health Ministry, over 16,872 people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus, with 284 related deaths.

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