PM Pushing for Easing of COVID-19 Curbs3 min read
Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister of Israel, is reportedly pushing for easing some of the restrictions imposed by the government due to the coronavirus. This came after the morbidity rates associated with the number of infections caused by the Delta variant of COVID-19 fell to levels not seen previously. On Thursday evening, the number of people in serious condition in hospitals due to the coronavirus reduced to as low as 385, which makes it the lowest figure since August 7th. The Health Ministry disclosed figures and said that the number of positive cases on Wednesday was around 1,762.
Back in the months of August and September when the fourth wave of the coronavirus had been at its peak, the number of COVID-19 cases had been around 10,000 in a day. The coronavirus cabinet, which is the forum that was formed for dealing with the pandemic in Israel and comprises of ministers who make decisions, is scheduled to have a meeting on Monday. According to reports, a package of steps will be put forward that include rolling back some of the restrictions that have been imposed. Some of these measures include the implementation of the pilot Green Pass program in other areas as well.
Currently, this particular program is only implemented from Grade 1 to 12 and they want to expand it to include daycares as well. As per the rules of the pilot program, students who are exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus will be permitted to return to school, as long as they get a negative PCR test result. Under previous rules, the whole class had been required to quarantine for a week. Another measure that will be put to an end is the ‘afternoon quarantine’, under which students who were exposed to a confirmed case had to isolate outside school, even though they were allowed to take classes.
If measures are relaxed, children below the age of 12 would no longer have to comply with the Green Pass requirements, even if they cannot get vaccinated. This pass is considered mandatory for people who want to gain entrance to a number of indoor as well as outdoor venues in the country and it is only issued to those who have recovered from COVID-19 or have gotten fully vaccinated. Under the new rules, even gyms would be permitted to operate without requiring a Green Pass. Bennett also wants to reopen Israel to tourists and those coming in would only be required to take a COVID-19 test.
However, this topic will be discussed in the next week and not right away. It was also reported that unlike the previous strategy of the government in spring when they had lifted the Green Pass rules completely, along with masking requirements after it seemed as if the virus was eradicated, they are not planning to fully lift the curbs. This is because a renewed outbreak remains a risk. Moreover, even though morbidity in the country does appear to be declining, the death toll is still increasing as on Thursday it had reached a total of 7,972.