The government's coronavirus cabinet, which has been in session since the early afternoon, has decided to impose a general lockdown on some 30 "red" towns in Israel, in the wake of the steep rise in the rate of Covid-19 infection. This Sunday, the traffic light model of National Coronavirus Project Coordinator Prof. Ronni Gamzu will come into effect. As a consequence, the red towns will enter lockdown on Monday for seven days, after which it will be decided whether to extend the lockdown by a further week in the light of the infection trend.
Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee Aryeh Deri opposed a general lockdown on the red towns, saying that according to experts local lockdowns are ineffective and will leave the rate of infection at about 2,000-2,200 daily. He said that there was therefore no sense in deciding on lockdowns for red towns only. Ministers who attended the meeting said it was one of the most difficult for a long time.
On September 10, just a week before the Jewish holiday season starts, the ministers will decide whether to impose a total lockdown on Israel. The decision has not yet been made, in the hope that the daily rate of confirmed Covid-19 cases will decline. If, however, the figures for the past twenty-four hours of about 3,000 confirmed cases turns into a trend, it is feared that the daily rate will not in the near future fall to the 800-1,000 range at which the coronavirus cabinet is aiming, and that there will be no avoiding a complete lockdown of the entire country.
According to the proposal put to the coronavirus cabinet, the following towns and cities are categorized as "red": Abu Snan, Umm el-Fahm, Elad, Aablin, Bukata, Beit Jann, Bnei Brak, Jaljulia, Jat, Daliat al Karmel, Zemer, Tiberias, Taibe, Tira, neighborhoods in East Jerusalem (including the Jewish Quarter), Kasra Samia, Kabiye-Tabash-Hajajre, Kfar Bara, Kfar Kana, Kfar Kasem, Lakia, Mateh Asher, Ma'aleh Iron, Nazareth, Ein Ma'ahal, Isfiya, Arar, Fureidis, Kalansua, Rechasim, Sha'ar Hanegev.
Speaking after the ministers' decision, Gamzu said, "The hospitals' situation is still stable, but there is a reasonable chance of a lockdown over the holiday period, it could happen. We must do everything to distance ourselves from this possibility. It has very many consequences for society and for the economy. We must therefore help the red cities to exit that status as much as possible."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 3, 2020
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020