Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is calling for the immediate implementation of tightened restrictions on Israel’s public sphere and economy.
Netanyahu asserted that Israel is in a state of a national health emergency and restrictions must be tightened in a meeting on Wednesday with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and other senior ministers, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, and Israel Police representatives.
The prime minister is requesting a partial closure of Ben-Gurion Airport, allowing flights to arrive but banning departure flights, the closure of shuls, limitations on public protests and further restrictions on the private business sector.
The government will also request that recently retired doctors return to work to support hospitals in caring for coronavirus patients. A total of 4,331 medical professionals are currently in quarantine and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein also ordered paramedics to provide backup to hospitals immediately.
As of Tuesday, Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem was operating at 143%, up from 129% on Monday, Sheba Hospital at 119%, up from 100% on Monday, Laniado Hospital in Netanya at 111%, and Kaplan Medical Center in Rechovot at 121%. Shaarei Tzedek in Jerusalem and Assuta in Ashdod are no longer accepting coronavirus patients along with a number of hospitals in the north.
The coronavirus cabinet is convening at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday to continue the discussion on implementing further restrictions that it began on Tuesday.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)