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Authorities in Israel Contemplate the Exit Strategy

Nov 13, 2020

Conditions in Israel are starting to worsen again. Just two weeks later after the country emerged from a lockdown, the number of patients started to rise once again. The lockdown was intended to curb the rising infection rate from the novel coronavirus, which has taken over the world. 

Israel was effective in achieving its goal however, as soon as it reopened, things started to go downhill. There are murmurs in the street of a possible lockdown for the third time since the pandemic plagued Israel. 

The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center recently published a report and provided comparison data. It showed that due to the relaxation of Health Ministry guidelines earlier in the month, the infection rates had been showing lesser and lesser improvement. 

Moreover, the data presented also indicated that the reproduction rate (R) had been showing an increasing trend, when compared to the last couple of weeks before relaxation of regulations. The center warned that if the current trend were to continue, the country will have to witness a significant increase in infection rates. 

Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the coronavirus commissioner, said that R was over 0.9 as of now. The Health Ministry had previously warned that the economy would not be allowed to reopen if the reproduction rate went above 0.8. 

On the other hand, the government is making plans to reopen other operations to help move the economy along, as part of the planned exit strategy. On Sunday, various malls are scheduled to resume business operations. 

This move is being pushed and endorsed by Israel Katz, the Finance Minister. However, Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, has shown no hesitation in disapproving of this strategy. He insists that nothing else should be allowed to reopen until the necessary reproduction rates are reached. 

Izhar Shay, the Science and Technology Minister, came up with a compromise, which was also approved by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister. It was decided that even if more commerce is allowed to reopen, a night curfew will be imposed in the country. From 10pm to 5am, everything in Israel will shut down. 

Shay believes that this will ensure that there are no late night gatherings. He also said that it would save young people from high-risk situations for infections because they are usually out at night. 

This proposal is only one of the several that the government is considering to tackle the problems that coronavirus presents. The relevant authorities want to make sure that the economy thrives while ensuring that there is no spike in the reproduction and infection rates. The decision makers in the country still have a long way to go because not all of their proposals are being received with enthusiasm. 

Some citizens believe that there is no need to impose the nighttime curfew on the entire country. In their opinion, most Israelis follow coronavirus guidelines and regulations down to a tee. They wear masks, do not gather in large numbers in public, and maintain social distancing among other things. 

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