Photo Credit: Sinai Aldgem-Sheba Medical Center
A student performs rapid antigen testing on her fellow high-school student at Tel Aviv’s Gymnasia school.

Some 400,000 students in the 10th to 12th grades returned to school on Sunday in cities with low morbidity after learning online for the past two months.

According to the Ministry of Education’s outline, the students will learn in half classes for at least two days a week, and the rest of their schooling will continue online.

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The students’ return to school was the latest phase in Israel’s easing of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions set in place over two months ago.

A small number of shopping malls opened on Friday.

The Ministry of Health updated Sunday that it recorded 569 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Of the 17,472 tests done over the weekend, 3.3% returned positive, an increase over last week’s numbers.

According to the data, 273 corona patients are hospitalized in serious condition, of them 112 are on life support.

A Sunday report by the IDF Intelligence Corps’ stated that in the past week there has been a clear and consistent increase in the number of new verified cases per day, on a weekly average.

In the three days before the weekend, more than a thousand infections were diagnosed every day. According to the report, even if part of the increase in verified results is due to an increase in the number of daily tests, this does not enough to explain the increase.

It further noted that the implementation of the planned reliefs, in addition to those whose implementation has already begun, is expected to accelerate the level of morbidity in all sectors in the country.

Of the 334,988 Israelis who have contracted the virus since the outbreak in the country in February, 2,854 have died.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.