Two MKs enter quarantine, over 20,000 active COVID-19 patients in Israel

July 14, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Two Members of Knesset (MK) entered quarantine after being exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) carriers, as the number of active patients in Israel passed the 20,000 mark.

Coronavirus isolation ward in the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer Ramat Gan preparing for the next stage of the Coronavirus outbreak. Ramat Gan, July 6, 2020. Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS

MK Ofir Sofer announced Tuesday morning he had entered quarantine after being exposed to a person who tested positive to COVID-19 during a session at the Knesset’s Education Committee on Monday.

MK Kety Shitrit stated shortly after that she too was entering isolation after participating in the same session.

Several other MKs are already in quarantine.

In the meantime, the number of active COVID-19 in Israel was registered at 21,117, the first time it passed the 20,000 since the outbreak in the country, despite the various limitations and partial closures the government has imposed in recent days.

1,668 new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, and 15,525 Corona patients were documented since the beginning of the month, almost as much as the numbers in March and April combined.

Some 180 of the patients are in serious condition, of them 54 are in life support.

Of the total 40,632 cases since the outbreak, 19,558 have recovered and 364 have died.

On the financial crisis front, the Cabinet on Monday evening approved the ‘Safety Net 2020-2021’ economic plan presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz.

According to the plan, full unemployment benefits will be paid until the end of June 2021 or until unemployment falls below 10%. Below 10%, the unemployment benefits will decrease to 75% of the unemployment benefit, and in the event of a decrease in the unemployment rate below 7.5%, the extension of eligibility will cease at the end of 30 days.

In addition, the program includes an adjustment grant for those aged 67 and over and assistance to the self-employed and businesses.

The cost of the program is expected to reach NIS 85 billion, including an increase in the loan fund by NIS 23 billion.

The Cabinet approved a draft law that includes several issues in the economic plan that will require changes to legislation: Expanding the eligibility for unemployment compensation, adjustment stipends for those aged 67 and over, assistance to the self-employed and businesses, expanding the permit for discharged soldiers to make withdrawals from their discharge deposits, and a tax exemption for withdrawals from advanced training funds.

The Cabinet also approved a draft law to expand the 2020-2021 budgetary framework by NIS 24 billion in order to expand and implement the plan.

The draft law was submitted for Knesset approval.

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