Photo Credit: Yossi Aloni / Flash 90
Israeli children wearing face masks make their way to school in Moshav Yashresh, on May 3, 2020.

Nearly half of the patients in the caseload among Israel’s current active cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus — 44 percent, to be precise — are children, according to a report broadcast this weekend by Channel 13 television news.

The statistic was cited by Health Ministry officials who expressed concern over the reopening of schools that took place Sunday, hoping the impact of one million school children returning to the classroom would not be too extreme.

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About 60 percent of the country’s children in grades one, two and three went back to school, although many parents are still reluctant to send their children, citing concerns about unclear guidelines as Health Ministry restrictions were relaxed.

The ministry is recommending that more children can return to classes in grades four through 10, in groups of 15 students each, starting on May 31, as well.

In each, social distancing rules will still apply, with two meters (about six feet) maintained between students and everyone wearing masks.

In addition, the ministry recommended the government allow citizens to visit first-degree family members, effective immediately, including elders (such as grandparents) “with the necessary caution and under instructions to soon be established.”

By Sunday evening, there were a total of 16,193 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Israel.

Breaking this figure down, there are 9,634 Israelis who have recovered from the virus, and 6,559 Israelis who are currently actively infected with the coronavirus, including 82 patients who are in serious condition, sedated and require ventilators to breathe.

Sadly, 231 Israelis have died from the virus.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.