Israel's coronavirus czar said he backs the total shutdown of the education system and will recommend the measure to the government, which was set to vote on tightening the current lockdown.
The coronavirus cabinet was expected to convene later in the day to discuss the surge in COVID-19 cases and propose a series of new restrictions in an effort to combat it. Israel entered its third nationwide lockdown last Sunday but new cases continue to increase exponentially.
Prof. Nachman Ash told Ynet that any delay in implementing a stricter lockdown will result in the loss of human life.
"We are seeing the numbers go up every day, including serious cases," Prof. Ash said. "We have passed the threshold of 800 serious patients, which is a red line."
He said regardless of the government's decision, he recommends parents do not send their children to schools if they live in areas with a high COVID-19 infection rate. "A child who brings the disease home infects others. We have seen quite a few such cases in recent days."
The professor also said it will be possible to receive the second coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna drugmaker even though all the vaccinations so far included only the Pfizer shot. "The vaccination committee has approved it and we will try to plan so it doesn't happen but the possibility exists."
U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc said on Monday that Israel's health authorities had authorized its COVID-19 vaccine, marking the vaccine’s third regulatory authorization and the first outside North America.