Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the State of Israel, hundreds of students, studying in grades fifth through 12th, will not be allowed to return to school on Sunday.
On Thursday night, the coronavirus cabinet got together to approve a list of cities and classify the high-risk ones as either red or orange, depending upon the severity of the situation. Thus, the Home Front Command updated its map soon after the meeting. 48 cities were designated as red whereas, 62 were categorized as orange.
The list of red and orange cities is no longer restricted to the Arab population. It also consists of Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Bialik, Ashkelon, and several others. Moreover, there has been an alarming rise in the number of infections in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) areas over the past few days.
As of now, the reproduction rate, R, is also higher in the haredi sector, standing at 1.6. The general community, on the other hand, has an R of 1.24.
Meanwhile, regardless of the spike in infection, the coronavirus cabinet has given the green signal to preschools through fourth grade to resume studies in all cities. But, two weeks ago, the cabinet made it clear that older students in the same areas will not be allowed to go to school.
On Sunday, the cabinet is expected to hold a meeting to talk about the tightening of restrictions to curb the rise in the number of coronavirus cases. If the members of the cabinet agree, then as per the tightened restrictions, preschools and elementary schools in red and orange cities will also be shut down immediately until further notice.
Seeing the spike in the infection rate, many experts have stated that there is a highly likely chance of the tightened restraint program being implemented.
On Friday at noon, the Health Ministry reported that there had been 2,813 new cases of the disease in the past 24 hours. 432 people were in critical condition, out of which 105 were intubated. The death toll also rose to 3,056. Out of all the people who had been tested for the virus, nearly 3.6% came up with a positive diagnosis.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, previously announced that he too supports the idea of tightening restraints if the cases surpass a number of 2,500 a day. Now that it has, the country has yet to see whether the leader will implement stricter regulations or not. So far, many ministers are against this idea and believe that differential measures should be taken instead of sweeping steps.
Prof. Nachman Ash, the coronavirus commissioner, is the man who came up with the concept of tightened restraint in the first place. He outlined that shops, marketplaces, and malls will be shuttered as part of this program. Moreover, public gatherings outdoors will be limited to 20 people, whereas no more than 10 people will be allowed to gather at a time in indoor areas. The educations system in green and yellow cities will be allowed to function but, no student will be permitted to go to school in red and orange ones.