The Netanyahu cabinet is scheduled to debate on Wednesday the Health Ministry’s recommendation to impose a full lockdown on the entire country ASAP. The lockdown would include a ban on going farther than 0.6 miles from one’s home, the education system will be shut down, including early childhood education, and commerce will also be completely shut down.
The Health Ministry suggests the lockdown would be removed after the daily coronavirus infections drop below 1,000, which is estimates should take between three and four weeks.
As of Wednesday morning, tests have shown 3,753 verified infections, with 28,165 patients overall, 499 of whom are on ventilators. 3,136 have died in Israel since the start of the pandemic.
The Corona Czar Prof. Nachman Ash told Reshet Bet Radio on Wednesday morning that “the situation is worrisome. There is a disturbing jump in morbidity, with more than 500 patients in critical condition in hospitals. It requires an immediate lockdown.”
Ash said he hopes “the public will understand that it’s important and we all hope this will be the last lockdown. I estimate that 20% of the population will be vaccinated by March, which includes the at-risk population, so that we can start behaving differently.”
Ash added: “I hope the reopening of social life will be possible by April if we guarantee the use of green passports. It doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to take off the facemasks, because we are not sure that the vaccine prevents infecting others. For the time being, the vaccination is only about preventing infection of the recipients.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday agreed that a third lockdown is needed, but disagreed over the starting date. Netanyahu and the Health Ministry want the lockdown to begin within days, probably next week, while Ganz requests a later start so the public has enough time to prepare.
Time to go empty those TP shelves, folks.