Coronavirus Concerns Grow as Schools Reopen in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, and Prof. Ronni Gamzu, the coronavirus commissioner, have expressed their concerns over the reopening of educational institutions on Monday. The Health Ministry discouraged the resumption of educational activities however, various kindergartens and yeshivas reopened operations. Many schools located in Haredi communities were also reopened. 

Netanyahu gave a speech on Monday morning at the Rambam Medical Center located in Haifa. He expressed his happiness over the decline in the rate of Covid-19 infections. He was also quite optimistic about the country overcoming the crisis. However, he insisted that everyone must keep following the coronavirus guidelines outlined by the Health Ministry. 

The Prime Minister talked about the red cities in specific, he reported that on Sunday and Monday both, some of them had allowed ultra-Orthodox schools to reopen. He went on to add that these cities were defying the rules of lockdown. He did not go into details about the widespread violations but, Netanyahu did state that the rate of infection could only continue to decrease if regulations were obeyed stringently. 

He went on to add that the government could only push people to obey the rules but, it was consequently the responsibility of the people to adhere to them. In the end, he encouraged people to stand united. 

Yeshivas residing in the country also resumed educational activities on Monday, as well as Haredi communities. Infection rates here are greater than in the rest of the areas of Israel. 

The same day, Haredim threw rocks at the police and placed trash cans in the middle of the roads to block down. This was a result of the police shutting down a yeshiva that was operating against Health Ministry guidelines in the area of Bnei Brak. 

Nearly 1,617 fines were levied due to the widespread violations of the coronavirus guidelines on Sunday alone. Most of the fines issues were to people who were not wearing a mask. 

Since the virus first struck Israel in March of 2020, around 335,907 fines have been issued in the country. 

The director-general of the Health Ministry, Prof. Hezi Levy, and Netanyahu have expressed their gratitude to those who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. They also praised and commended vaccine research and innovative medical techniques. The two hoped that both of these things would soon yield fruitful results. 

Levy also lay emphasis on testing as a way to fight off the virus, along with strict adherence to lockdown regulations. He urged everyone, who was in doubt of being exposed to the virus, to get themselves checked out. 

While attending a meeting of the Welfare and Health Committee, Gamzu had warned that if schools were reopened, coronavirus outbreaks could become severe. He stated that the young populations were more than likely to infect the older populations in the country. 

In his words, Gamzu said that there is no dam strong enough to withstand the current of the coronavirus. He was saying this in reference to the initial outbreak in which the youth were observed to show little or no difficulty with the symptoms.