Beginning at 8 am Wednesday and continuing for the next seven days, the government has declared a lockdown in the municipality area of Elad in central Israel, and in parts of the northern city of Tiberias, imposing closures on both cities after the number of residents sick with the novel coronavirus skyrocketed.
In Tiberias, the closures were imposed in Ramat Tiberias Bet, Ramat Tiberias Gimel, Neighborhood 200, Tiberias Illit and the Ben Gurion neighborhood.
In light of the increased coronavirus morbidity throughout the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and National Security Council (NSC) head Meir Ben-Shabbat to discuss the actions to be taken to stem the spread of the virus.
The ministers decided to declare restricted zones where there is high morbidity.
It was also agreed that if the pace of morbidity continues, the issue of digital means would be submitted to the Cabinet before Sunday.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said in addition to the restrictions imposed on Elad and Tiberias, “Tomorrow morning we will also consider other communities. The surest way to stop the pandemic is for all citizens to wear masks and maintain distance. In any case, tomorrow we will discuss other communities and we will announce our decisions accordingly.”
Coronavirus Morbidity Galloping Again
The morbidity data are indeed galloping, with figures that have more than doubled in less than a week. On June 18, there were 215 new cases of the virus diagnosed in the Jewish State. Israel’s Health Ministry reported Tuesday evening, however, that 459 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases of the virus, to 5,299.
Of those, 40 patients are in very serious condition, including 27 who require ventilator support. Another fatality was also recorded, bringing the death toll to 308. On Tuesday, 13,451 Israelis were tested for the virus.
According to a statement from the Education Ministry, 789 students, teachers and staff are ill with the virus; 216 schools have been closed and 21,969 students, teachers and staff are in quarantine. As of June 30, all preschools and elementary schools will be officially closed in any case.
A total of 12,970 Israelis were tested for the virus on Monday; 2.9 percent are testing positive.
The IDF Intelligence Unit reports the current rate of infection is about eight percent per day; if that continues, Israel could see up to 10,000 COVID-19 patients by the start of July.
At this point, 21,467 Israelis have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 since the start of the pandemic. The cities with the highest number of infected residents continue to be Jerusalem (90 new cases), Bnei Brak (58 new cases), Ashdod (52), Tel Aviv (48 new cases) and Bat Yam (40 new cases).