Coronavirus cabinet to meet Sunday as infection rate continues to rise

The vaccines are already reaching Israel by the hundreds of thousands, but the country is facing a potentially difficult time of tighter restrictions as coronavirus cases escalate.

The coronavirus cabinet is expected to meet Sunday at 11am to determine the next steps.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he supports a decision made last week that if things exceeded 2,500 a day, there would be a period of “strict restraint” to spread. However, many ministers complain and think that different measures should be taken rather than broad measures.

Some 2,802 people were infected with the virus Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said Thursday morning. This number exceeds the daily count of new cases that Israel may face in a time of blockade.

During that time, shops, malls and markets would be closed; gatherings would be limited to 10 people in enclosed spaces and 20 in open spaces; and the education system would remain open in green and yellow cities but would close in orange and red.

In addition, given the challenges at Ben-Gurion Airport and the number of returnees who have been arriving in Israel, the Ministry of Health is considering recommending that leaflets be issued to all countries. This would mean that any Israelis who come into Israel from abroad would have to be lonely.

In addition, there is talk of asking returners from certain countries – including Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and possibly Dubai – to be separated in a house. state-run coronavirus host or approval to be confirmed.

According to the plan, these strict restrictions would last at least three weeks.

The other Prime Minister, Benny Gantz, on Thursday met with cabinet ministers of blue and white coronavirus and said his party’s position was that a vote to establish a strict ban would be based on morbidity and mortality rates as well as another timeline definition and the vastness of the country. vaccination campaign.

“The breadth of vaccines and the expected impact on morbidity levels is a key factor in making decisions that affect the Israeli economy and the livelihoods of millions,” he said. -relevant information before we call the cabinet. “

Although the coronavirus cabinet voted last week for the plan, it still needs to be reunited on Sunday for action.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, several other Jerusalem neighborhoods went from orange to red. At the same time, five other cities across the country grew orange.

The number of people in poor condition is rising with the numbers: Around 400 patients were in poor condition Thursday morning, including 150 who were admitted. About 3.4% of over 80,000 people screened for the virus were positively tested.

At the last census, the death toll was 3,033.

Some health officials estimate that Israel will reach 5,000 cases a day – the number needed for locking – before new restrictions come into effect. Thus, the National Security Council could recommend that Israel initially have a short closure even before approaching restrictions, according to media reports.

Ministry of Health deputy director general Chezy Levy and head of Public Health Services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis entered quarantine Thursday morning after a member of his office testified positive.

A charge has already been levied for the virus and has been tested negative. He has no symptoms and will continue to work normally from home.

Later in the day, Likud faction manager in the Knesset, Aliza Barashi, tested positive for coronavirus, putting all workers in quarantine until epidemiological studies were completed. .

Barashi’s positive judgment was made after the unusual incident in which Likud MK David Bitan violated Ministry of Health guidelines, reported last week, which left about 30 employees and three MKs into quarantine. In response to criticism, Bitan said he did not know he had the disease, even though he had coronavirus-related symptoms.

Bitan has been in hospital since Sunday and has been in critical but stable condition since Monday, when Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and his family announced he had been connected to an ECMO device ( extracorporeal oxygenation membrane).