Photo Credit: Eitan Elhadez/TPS
Shopping during Coronavirus in a Mega supermarket in Kiryat Ono, Israel. Mar 14, 2020

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Corona Cabinet on the return to routine and the policy on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, during which the participants decide to further ease the restrictions and open street stores.

The Corona Cabinet decided to allow the opening of street stores on Sunday with up to four customers in a store at any given time and adherence to the directives of the Purple Badge standard.

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The Cabinet also discussed other restrictions to block the increase in morbidity, including a proposal for routine tests for teams of workers, and a focus on efforts on increasing the scope of testing and wearing masks.

Netanyahu cautioned after the meeting that “there has been a certain increase in morbidity; therefore, if we see this coming weekend, ahead of the major third stage, that there is an increase in morbidity, we will need to stop and maybe tighten the restrictions.”

There was no mention of the possibility of the further opening of the school system. Only grades 1- 4 learn at school while all the rest learn remotely.

The main source of infections in Israel is now the Arab society. The percentage of verified cases from the Arab society increased from 10% to 37%. The Arabs consist of about 20% of the population.

The Ministry of Health updated Thursday that it recorded 754 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

A total of 39,699 corona tests were performed in the last day, of which 2% returned positive.

According to the data, 353 corona patients are hospitalized in serious condition, of whom 154 are on life support.

Of the 317,556 Israelis who have contracted the virus since the outbreak in February, 2,597 have died.

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