Corona Cabinet Decides No Lockdown, for Time Being
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the Corona Cabinet on Wednesday evening to discuss ways to lower the Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rate in Israel while supporting the country’s efforts to get the economy back on track, as the infection rate remained high.
National coronavirus project manager Prof. Ronni Gamzu said that the morbidity situation was worrying and that the goal is to significantly lower morbidity by 1 September when the school year begins, but expressed opposition to the idea of a general lockdown.
“No country with as high a morbidity level as Israel has dealt with morbidity without a lockdown. The Government of Israel is sensitive to the delicate socio-economic situation and the hardships of the public; therefore, it has placed its confidence in me for a path that does not include a full lockdown,” he stated.
He cautioned that “it seems that this is the last opportunity for a moderate line. Should morbidity not decline within two weeks, we will be obliged to consider restrictions including the possibility of a local or nationwide lockdown.”
The use of nationwide or local lockdowns is not off the agenda and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Gamzu’s plan for ‘red and orange cities’ and ‘intensive intervention cities’ was presented and approved.
The program calls for massive and extensive support networks and assistance for the population while providing support under the aegis of the local council for areas with a high infection rate.
The restriction on opening businesses over the weekend was canceled.
The Corona Cabinet also authorized the Health Minister, Transportation Minister, Foreign Minister and the National Security Council, in consultation with the relevant ministries, to advance the outline for opening the skies on 16 August, which will be submitted for Corona Cabinet approval forthwith.
The plans were unanimously approved, and require government approval as well.
The Ministry of Health updated Thursday morning that it registered 1,683 Corona patients in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of active patients in the country to 25,956.
347 patients are hospitalized in serious condition, of them 105 are on life support.
A total of 77,919 cases have been recorded on Israel since the outbreak, the majority of them in the past month.
Over 51,400 of the patients have recovered while 565 have died.
The government aims to bring the number of daily infections to about 400 before September 1.