Coronavirus — Israel to Begin Third Lockdown

  • For more than a month, the coronavirus has been increasing incessantly and has already registered rates of positives above 4%.
  • The terms are similar to the last lockdown, in September.
  • This week, the vaccination process began in the country and, as reported by the country’s health department, some 140,000 people have already received the first dose.

The Israeli Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new lockdown, the third since the beginning of the pandemic, which will come into force next Sunday, as reported by a section of the country’s local media. The new general shutdown would last for at least two weeks and seeks to stop the spread of the virus.

Israel’s coronavirus czar Nachman Ash visits the Jerusalem Municipality, November 22, 2020.

For more than a month, the coronavirus has been increasing incessantly and has already registered rates of positives above 4%.

The decision was agreed upon by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Defense Minister and Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition partner in the government, Benny Gantz.

The closure was announced in a joint statement from Prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu, and the country’s Health Ministry. It said the government had agreed to the restrictions “in principle,” but that the full list of regulations was still awaiting final approval from government ministers.

The agreed measures provide for a movement limit of one kilometer around the house, and the closure of non-essential businesses.

Measures Will Last Two Weeks

As per part of the provisions of the new measures, it will also be prohibited to visit other people’s residences and meetings of up to ten people will only be allowed in closed spaces and up to 20 outdoors. 

Restaurants will be allowed to do deliveries but takeaway orders will be banned. Individual sports activities, such as jogging, will be allowed. The terms are similar to the last lockdown, in September.

In contrast to previous lockdowns, however, the nation’s education system will continue to function, with some restrictions. Only children between the ages of 6 and 10, and between 16 and 17, will continue to attend class, on a limited schedule between 8 AM and 1 PM.

These measures will initially apply for two weeks and could be extended for another two in case the number of daily infections is not reduced to less than 1,000 or the reproduction rate to less than 1.

The announcement of the new lockdown, which the Ministry of Health promoted for several days, come after the country once again exceeded 3,000 daily infections on Tuesday. Initially, the government had set the figure of 2,500 daily infections as the limit to impose new restrictions, something that did not comply when that number was exceeded on Wednesday of last week.

This week, the vaccination process began in the country and, as reported by the country’s health department, some 140,000 people have already received the first dose.

A medical worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Ziv Medical Center in the northern city of Safed, December 21, 2020.

According to the latest figures released, Israel, with some nine million inhabitants, has about 30,000 active cases of the virus, with 500 patients admitted in serious condition, 118 of them connected to ventilators.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, 3,136 people have died from COVID-19 in the country. 

So far, Israel has 28,308 active cases and 3,136 people have since died. In the West Bank, there are 14,894 active cases and 1,033 deaths. In Gaza, there are 9,574 active cases and 283 deaths.

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Vincent othieno

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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