Israel to Increase Coronavirus Restrictions2 min read
The State of Israel has started reporting almost 3,000 cases of the coronavirus in a day. This was revealed by the Health Ministry in a report they published on Wednesday.
The data showed that on Monday, 2,862 people tested positive for the virus. A total of 83,227 had taken the test, out of which 3.5% had contracted the disease. As of now, more than 381 patients are in a critical condition whereas, 138 have been intubated. The deaths attributed to the coronavirus now stand at 3,022, as reported by the Health Ministry.
This spike came only a day after various health officials had warned that the country could be moving towards a third lockdown. The Health Ministry reported this in light of the rising morbidity rates and in the background of the arrival of vaccines in the country.
On Tuesday, Prof. Nachman Ash, the coronavirus commissioner also talked about a third lockdown. He stated that he will be pushing to impose stricter restrictions to curb the rise in the number of cases. He added that he is willing to explore every avenue possible to avoid putting the country under a lockdown.
In the last week, Ash had presented his idea of ‘tightening restrictions’ in front of the coronavirus cabinet as well. However, he had been turned down by several ministers, who moved towards the reopening of museums and shopping malls instead.
But, the government had agreed on placing these stricter restrictions on the citizens of the country on two conditions. The first condition was if the number of cases of the disease exceeded 2,500 in a day. The second condition put forth was that the reproduction rate (R) would increase to 1.32, meaning that three infected people would pass on the virus to four others.
The period of tightening restrictions will include that malls, marketplaces, and shops will be closed down. Gatherings will be limited to 20 people in open spaces and 10 in closed spaces. In addition, the education system will function normally in yellow and green cities but, remain closed in red and orange ones.
The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center also published a report on Tuesday. It warned that the country was likely to hit these numbers before the end of the month.
On the other hand, nearly 245 Israelis who traveled back to the country from abroad in the past two weeks have tested positive for the virus. 30 from these 245 returned from the US, 27 from Ukraine, 16 from Turkey, 8 from Holland, 4 from England, and 11 from Russia. Nearly 26 Israelis, who had been visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) returned home only to test positive for the disease.
All these countries except for UAE have been listed by the Health Ministry of Israel as red countries. This means that people returning from any of these states are required to quarantine themselves immediately on their arrival.
The 245 of these Israeli citizens that tested positive for the virus are amongst the 44,000 who were returning home from abroad.