The coronavirus cabinet has scheduled a meeting for noon, on Thursday. The agenda for this meeting is to talk about the various options that the public and authorities can explore as they move towards stage 3 of the country’s exit strategy.
As the infection rates in Israel are rising significantly, the coronavirus cabinet thought a meeting was imminent. On Thursday morning, the Health Ministry reported that more than 734 new cases of the virus were reported on Wednesday alone. Of the number of people tested, 1.9% had results that came out positive. The reproduction rate (R) as of now is at 0.92, as per the data provided by the Health Ministry itself.
321 people were reported to be in a critical condition of which, 127 were intubated. The death toll remained steadfast at 2,700.
On Wednesday, several health officials and minister got together in order to discuss options that would allow more commerce. They also talked about restrictions that would be instrumental in helping them curb the rising cases of the coronavirus, and potential ways to ensure that more children can return to schools. However, the debate ended without any agreement or decision.
One of the ideas that was presented at the meeting was by the National Security Council. They proposed that the exit strategy should be followed as per the norm and the relief should come by way of a night curfew. Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, showed preference for this idea. The meeting also discussed raising fines and increasing enforcement.
Israel Katz, the Finance Minister, has been pushing for a while to tilt the exit strategy towards the reopening of stores. He stated that malls and relevant businesses should be given permission to resume operations as the original plan stated, which was devised earlier. As per that plan, small and medium business owners would be allowed to resume operations from the 15th of November, Sunday. He also agreed that if malls were given permission to open then the night curfew could be imposed.
On the other hand, Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, was quite adamant on keeping things as they are until the necessary indices are reached. He warned that nothing else will be allowed to reopen if the reproduction rate of the virus did not go down.
On Thursday morning, he gave another statement in which he stated that the decision to reopen stores was nothing but a misstep. He went on to say that if the country did not get back on track soon, they would be facing a third wave. Edelstein urged citizens to strictly adhere to the coronavirus guidelines and restrictions to ensure that Israel does not go into another lockdown.
The Health Minister stressed on how important it is for the country to not close down completely, as they damage the society and the economy. He also talked about the possibility of a night curfew and revealed that the cabinet is considering whether its implementation will be fruitful or not.