Netanyahu Defers Decision on School Closures

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel coronavirus
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein at a press conference on Sunday. (Flash90)

Following a meeting on Tuesday evening to assess the health situation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ deferred a decision on a Health Ministry recommendation to close the schools amid a surge of coronavirus cases.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that Netanyahu “requested additional data and asked to evaluate how it would be possible to strengthen the protection of pupils against infection. The discussion will continue tomorrow; according to the data that will be presented, Prime Minister Netanyahu will make a decision regarding the education system.”

Netanyahu’s ministers were divided on what do. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein was reportedly backing health experts who were urging the closure of all middle and high schools across the country, where the new cases have been concentrated.

But Education Minister Yoav Gallant opposed any sweeping shutdowns, and, accused Health Ministry officials of “sowing unnecessary panic.” Instead, he favored spot closures in those schools that reported outbreaks.