R Rate Increases to 0.9 as Government Argues Over Hotel Isolation2 min read
On Wednesday morning, the reproduction rate (R), increased to 0.9. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities are busy arguing over whether returnees from abroad should mandatorily isolate themselves in hotels, designated for coronavirus.
The R is a measure of how quickly the novel coronavirus is spreading in the country. A couple of days ago, the indicator had fallen a little below 0.8, which pointed towards a decline in the number of infections. However, Wednesday was the second day in a row, on which the number had risen.
In addition, more than 4,300 cases had been reported on Tuesday, when 6.1% of the 74,461 tests performed resulted in a positive diagnosis for the disease. Around 795 patients were experiencing serious symptoms, whereas the death toll was 5,648.
These new updates were provided by the Health Minister, which have been a source of disappointment for the people, as well as the authorities. The report of a rising R was published against the backdrop of the success that is the vaccination campaign being run in Israel.
As of now, around 4.5 million citizens of Israel have received at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. On the other hand, three million have been given both doses.
Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, however, revealed that not enough people in the country have been vaccinated to ensure that Israelis are able to celebrate the holiday of Purim without restraint.
Edelstein told the people that the citizens of the country had showed complete solidarity to cancel the decree of Haman, and therefore, fasted for three days alongside Esther. He went on to add that he was not asking people to do the same rather, to strictly adhere to coronavirus guidelines as outlined by the relevant authorities.
The Health Minister spoke a day after the government gave its approval for a night curfew to be imposed between 8:30 pm and 5 am, Thursday to Sunday, on account of the uncommon three-day-long holiday of Purim this year.
Appealing to the people, he asked them to follow the regulations for business owners in the country, as well as hotels, education, and culture world. He instructed people to keep themselves safe for the sake of life, health, and the well-being of the children in the country, who cannot be vaccinated as of now.
Edelstein recommended that people not go to celebrations and parties instead, spend the holiday at home.
Meanwhile, confrontations also ensued regarding the necessary quarantine in hotels for those returning from abroad. These debates took place between the Knesset representatives, who are in charge of approving such a measure, and the government.
Earlier in the morning, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Transportation Ministry, and the Health Ministry issued a joint statement. According to it, the measure will be extended until the 9th of March. It was further clarified that the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee will have a meeting the next morning to give their approval for the decision.
However, a while later, it was noted that the committee was still discussing the matter.