Lockdown May Not Lift All At Once

YERUSHALAYIM -
Police at a roadblock on Highway 1 outside Yerushalayim to enforce the coronavirus lockdown. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The full nationwide lockdown—now with Ben Gurion Airport added—may end on January 31, but some restrictions will likely continue.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ is considering a phased reopening, including kindergartens and schools for ages 0-3, grades 1-4 and grades 11-12 resuming normal activities while the other age groups will have to learn at home remotely, according to a plan being drafted, according to the Kan public broadcaster on Sunday night.

The government will meet to decide on Thursday, the report says.

Meanwhile, reports of coronavirus mutations, which could throw all plans into disarray, persist.

An Israeli resident of Los Angeles who came to visit the country about a month ago was diagnosed with a mutation that was first diagnosed in Los Angeles. The Israeli has already returned to the United States but has infected five people here in Israel, Arutz Sheva reported.

A statement from the Department of Health stated that “In the Ministry of Health’s Central Laboratory for Viruses, researchers identified a case of the variant from Los Angeles. At least four more people have been confirmed infected with that variant. The incident is under investigation. ”

At least 46 Israelis who recently returned from Dubai were caught violating their mandatory 14-day quarantine and were required to pay a NIS 5,000 ($1,530) fine, Channel 12 reported.

The Health Ministry reported that more than 30 Israelis died of COVID-19 since Sunday morning, bringing the total since the start of January to 1,028. The total death toll in Israel since the outbreak in March is 4,392.

The ministry says 2,401 news cases were identified yesterday, eight percent of the just 30,888 tests conducted. Another 2,345 have been confirmed between midnight and 7 p.m. Sunday.

The total cases since the pandemic began reach 596,733, including 69,973 active cases — which is a drop of some 6,000 active cases since yesterday.

There are 1,181 serious cases, including 419 in critical condition, and 330 on ventilators.

In addition, 1,059,656 Israelis have received both vaccine doses and 2,555,489 have received just the first dose.

A 5-month-old baby girl was reported hospitalized in serious condition with COVID-19, by Channel 13.

The child has been diagnosed with encephalitis and pneumonia, resulting from the virus, the report says.

“We are used to seeing kids diagnosed with COVID-19, but not kids who are ill,” Dr. Idit Pasternak, who treated the baby, tells Channel 13. “Usually, kids who arrive with COVID-19 are generally healthy. We don’t see a lot of cases like this girl.”

The report does not say in which hospital the infant is hospitalized.