Israel: 310,148 Cases, 2,397 Deaths: Dozens Of Pre-Schools Closed Due To COVID Outbreaks

Illustrative: A classroom is disinfected. (Jerusalem Municipality)

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Following 24 hours with no coronavirus data update, apparently because of a technical malfunction due to the change of clocks overnight Motzei Shabbos, Israel’s Health Ministry confirmed less than 1,000 new coronavirus cases over the past two days. A total of 239 cases on Shabbos and 559 cases on Sunday were confirmed, with the positivity rate standing at 2.8% on Sunday.

There are currently 13,911 active virus cases, including 506 seriously ill patients, of whom 206 are ventilated. The death toll has risen to 2,397.

However, the low number of new cases is also due to the low number of tests performed over the past few days, with the number of coronavirus tests steadily declining in the past two weeks, a source of concern for health officials.

Israel’s coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu warned on Sunday that the number of coronavirus tests must be increased, telling ministers at the coronavirus cabinet meeting that restrictions cannot be eased unless at least 50,000 tests are carried out every day.

Gamzu reiterated his warning on Monday, saying: “I urge every citizen to get tested even on the slightest suspicion that you were infected. The tests are accessible and the results are ready within hours. The pandemic is being spread through the children and youth – at least certainly during the second wave. Children are often asymptomatic and that leads to the next stage of symptomatic cases in adults followed by hospitalizations.”

Gamzu added that the Health Ministry is capable of carrying out 70,000 daily tests and soon will be able to carry out 100,000 tests.

Gamzu’s statements came as Health Ministry officials told ministers at the coronavirus cabinet meeting on Sunday that dozens of preschools and daycares have been closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks since they reopened last Sunday.

The Education Ministry reported that 332 kindergarteners have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since preschools reopened and 63 special education students tested positive for the coronavirus. A total of 56 kindergarteners have been closed due to outbreaks.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)