עומס בחולון בעקבות פתיחת חנויות הרחוב
Crowds flock outside a store reopened after lockdown
Photo: Vera Francis
Crowds flock to a store reopened after coronavirus lockdown

Senior health official warns Israel rushing lockdown exit

Health Ministry executive laments government's decision to greenlight opening of high-street shops, claiming ministers disregard exit strategy they themselves agreed upon; expert calls to prioritize opening of education system

Ynet |
Published: 11.08.20 , 14:26
Israel is stepping too quickly out of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown and risks going into another one soon, a senior health official warned on Sunday in an interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan radio.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Sharon Elrai, acting head of the Health Ministry's public health services division, said that Israel's R factor - which indicates the level of coronavirus infections in the population - is on the rise, ominously suggesting that morbidity will soon be on the rise as well.
    עומס בחולון בעקבות פתיחת חנויות הרחובעומס בחולון בעקבות פתיחת חנויות הרחוב
    Crowds flock to a store reopened after coronavirus lockdown
    (Photo: Vera Francis)
    Elrai's comments come as Israel moved on to reopen its high-street shops that were shut down nearly two months ago as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
    Elrai lamented the government's decision to greenlight the move, claiming that ministers rush to lift restrictions while disregarding the exit strategy they themselves agreed upon.
    תדרוך יומי בראשות ראש שירותי בריאות הציבור במשרד הבריאות ד״ר שרון אלרעי-פרייסתדרוך יומי בראשות ראש שירותי בריאות הציבור במשרד הבריאות ד״ר שרון אלרעי-פרייס
    Acting head of the Health Ministry's public health services division, Dr. Sharon Elrai speaks at a press briefing last month
    (Photo: GPO)
    Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science also warned that the move may cancel previous gains in Israel's efforts to rein in the pandemic and called to prioritize reopening the education system first.
    Finance Minister Israel Katz vowed he would expedite the opening of indoor shopping malls and other businesses despite the objections of the Health Ministry.
    Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported Sunday morning that authorities have conducted 8,310 coronavirus tests in the past 24 hours and 207 of them returned positive, placing the current national infection rate at 2.6%.
    מתחם בדיקות קורונה למערך החינוכי בגני יהושעמתחם בדיקות קורונה למערך החינוכי בגני יהושע
    A coronavirus testing site in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Nadav Abas)
    There are currently 8,638 active coronavirus cases across the country, among them 319 patients in serious condition and 143 patients on ventilators.
    The national coronavirus death toll rose to 2,664 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
    The ministry also reported that Israel's current "red" coronavirus hotspots are primarily Druze and Arab communities in the north of the country. All localities are subject to strict travel and community restrictions.
    Talkbacks for this article 0