Israel: 50,714 Cases, 415 Deaths, Israel To Allow Pools, Eateries To Remain Open, Camps, Schools Until Thursday

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A school in Nof HaGalil is disinfected (Photo: Nof HaGalil spokesperson)

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Israel’s Health Ministry reported a decline in new daily coronavirus cases, with 951 new cases recorded on Sunday in the previous 24 hours, the first time that less than 1,000 new cases have been reported in over two weeks. The percentage of positive coronavirus tests also fell on Sunday to 5.5% from 7.9% a day earlier.

There are currently 28,424 active virus cases, and the number of seriously ill patients stabilized at 259, but the number of ventilated patients rose by five, to 75. There are currently 681 hospitalized coronavirus patients. Six more fatalities were recorded, raising the death toll to 415.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Monday with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and other senior officials and a decision was made that Israel’s summer schools and camps will remain open at least until Thursday, when another discussion on the issue will be held.

The Knesset’s coronavirus committee met on Monday at which Likud coalition whip MK Miki Zohar said that the government has decided not to close pools and beaches and that restaurants could remain open by serving customers outdoors only, saying that 80% of Israel’s restaurants could open under these conditions. “Health Ministry data on the sources of infection is not completely reliable because the patients cannot be certain where they contracted the virus,” Zohar explained, adding that gyms should remain closed since they pose inherent risks for transmitting the virus.

Zohar added: “We have nothing personal, chalilah, against the committee chairperson or members…but the prime minister fears that the committee’s decisions will endanger public health…If we reach 1,000 seriously ill patients, the situation will change dramatically, the health system will collapse and we won’t be able to save lives…without life, we won’t have an economy either.”

Zohar was referring to the political furor last week when committee chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha Biton (Likud) went against the wishes of Netanyahu and voted with the opposition to re-open gyms hours after the prime minister and health minister had announced that they will close. The committee is slated to vote on the newest restrictions later on Monday.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)