Israel will enter third countrywide lockdown on Sunday

December 24, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel will enter a countrywide lockdown on Sunday, the third in 10 months, as the number of daily Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continued to increase.

COVID-19 quarantine. Credit: Pixabay.

The Cabinet decided that a general lockdown will be imposed from 17:00 on Sunday for two weeks.

The lockdown ccould be extended for another two weeks if the basic reproduction number (R) does not fall below 1 and the number of new cases per day does not fall below 1,000.

It is prohibited to be in the residence of another person, a significant setback for those planning to celebrate the New Year holidays.

All commerce and recreation will be completely closed except for deliveries, and public transportation will be reduced to 50%.

The Education system will partially close, with kindergartens, grades 1-4 and 11-12 from learning from 08:00-13:00. Special education will run as usual.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that “a third wave of the pandemic is striking the entire world with unprecedented strength. Many thousands in Europe and the US are dying on a daily basis. It could be that some of this is connected to the new mutation, or the onset of winter, or both but this is a fact about which there is no debate.”

In Israel, “there is a very sharp increase in morbidity even though our mortality and severe morbidity are on a much lower level than in most of these countries. If we do not take immediate action it will not stay this way and there will be a very sharp increase in both severe cases and in deaths,” he warned.

“If we delay in taking steps against morbidity and the severe outbreak that we are seeing, we will pay a very heavy price in health, in lives and vis-à-vis the economy,” he added.

The Ministry of Health updated Wednesday night that it recorded 3,805new cases in the past 24 hours.

Of the 91,174 tests done Tuesday, a climbing 4.3% returned positive.

According to the Ministry of Health’s data, 497 patients are hospitalized in serious condition, of whom 117 are on life support.

3,150 Israelis have died of the virus since the outbreak in February.

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