Health Ministry officials have reached the conclusion that there is no way to escape the necessity of carrying out a second, national lockdown, according to a report broadcast Monday evening by Channel 13 television news.
The grim prediction comes in response to the continuing rise of the COVID-19 infection rate in the country.
Over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry reported at least 1,578 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the Jewish State – and topping more than 40,000 Israelis who have been ill with the virus since the start of the pandemic.
As of Monday evening, there were 183 patients who were listed in very serious condition, including 54 who require ventilator support – a jump of seven since the day prior. Another 97 patients are in fair (moderate) condition, with the rest in good condition or asymptomatic.
Health care workers carried out 20,102 tests for the virus on Sunday, with 6.1 percent returning with positive results.
Despite the skyrocketing infection rate, Knesset Coronavirus Committee chairperson Yifat Shasha-Biton this week voted to reverse last week’s decision by the government to shut down the nation’s gyms and public swimming pools – despite the clear risk the move presents.
As Shasha-Biton called for increased freedom in the public sector, however, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called for a 10-day national lockdown, warning that Israel is being ostracized from Europe due to its high infection rate, which endangers the Israeli economy.
Steinitz said that aerial disconnection from the world is financially dangerous, and pointed out that sometimes, “it is better to make it difficult for ourselves for two weeks in order to make it easier for the rest of the year.”