Netanyahu: Coronavirus Rate Nearing Danger Point

Mask- and visor- wearing Israelis in central Yerushalayim on Thursday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)


Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ reiterated his warnings to the public on Thursday evening that if they don’t follow Health Ministry rules and the coronavirus numbers continue to rise, a return to lockdowns will be unavoidable.

“The good news is that the Israeli economy is recovering,” Netanyahu said, following with the bad news, that the rate of infection had risen to an alarming extent.

He said the current rate—around 150-170 new cases a day—are comparable to the situation before a steep rise in late March that led to a complete closure of the country.

Shortly after the prime minister spoke, the Health Ministry said that there were 214 new cases in the past 24 hours.

“We have to stop this growth quickly,” Netanyahu said, or restrictions recently lifted would have to be reimposed.

“The virus doesn’t give up. It only respects those who respect the rules,” he said. “If you keep the rules, they will keep us.”

“If we work together, we will overcome the pandemic.”

In the meantime, the ministerial committee on the pandemic decided no new measures were needed, except for special attention to be paid to designated hotspots, according to Ynet.

Data compiled by the Ministry of Education show that 460 students and teaching staff have been infected with the coronavirus and 160 schools and kindergartens have been closed since the reopening of Israel’s educational institutions. 25,517 students and teaching staff are now in isolation.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Yisrael Katz announced that “employees over 67 who did not return to work will receive a grant of 4,000 shekels.”

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