Israel’s Health Ministry reported 745 new coronavirus cases on Monday morning, with tests showing a positivity rate of 2.3%. There are currently 8,456 active cases, with 298 seriously ill patients, of whom 130 are ventilated. Another 49 deaths were confirmed since Sunday morning, raising the death toll to 2,806.
A report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center on Sunday stated that there has been a rise in hospitalized and seriously ill patients for the first time in a month and warned that the continued easing of lockdown restrictions is likely to lead to a rise in the virus infection rate.
Meanwhile, the government is continuing with its graded plan of returning students to their classrooms, with 5th and 6th graders scheduled to resume classes this week and 11th and 12th graders next week, joining pre-schoolers and 1st through 4th graders, who have already returned to their classrooms.
Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch warned last week that the continued easing of lockdown restrictions will lead to a third lockdown. “I see the infection rate rising and we’re continuing to reopen,” he told Channel 12 News. “I see malls making their own decisions to reopen without any guidelines. If this continues, a third lockdown is likely. We’ve dropped our policy of not reopening before we see a decrease in the infection rate.”
A recent National Security Council report said that almost half of the new coronavirus cases diagnosed last week in Israel were in the Arab sector. The government approved a five-day lockdown on Friday in the northern cities of Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, and Isfiya and a week-long extension of the closures in the Arab town of Qalansawe and the Druze town of Buq’ata.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)