207 New Coronavirus Cases in Israel; Street-Front Stores Reopen

Magen David Adom medical workers test Israelis at a drive-through site to collect samples for coronavirus testing in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

207 new cases of the coronavirus were reported in Israel on Shabbos, with 2.6% of tests returning positive, according to a Sunday morning update by the Health Ministry.

Out of the 8,638 active cases in Israel, 319 patients were listed in serious condition including 143 who are on ventilators.

Some 15 more Israelis succumbed to the virus overnight, bringing the death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 2,664.

Amid the encouraging coronavirus morbidity figures, street-front stores reopened on Sunday after nearly two months of being shut due to the lockdown.

Stores will be allowed to accommodate only four customers at a time while adhering to health regulations such as face masks.

However, other store owners in commercial centers and malls are still forbidden from reopening, prompting some to vow to reopen in defiance of the Health Ministry’s regulations.

The Health Ministry also reported that Israel’s current “red” coronavirus hotspots are the northern Druze communities of Buq’ata, Mas’ade and Beit Jann; the Arab villages of Nahf, Deir Hanna, Basma, Yafa an-Naseriyye, Arab al-Aramshe and Sallama and the northern town of Chatzor HaGlilit.

All of these localities are subject to strict travel and community restrictions.