Israel to increase restrictions? Country nears 3,000 new coronavirus cases

Hadassah-University Medical Center now has three coronavirus wards open, December 2020 (photo credit: HADASSAH SPOKESPERSON)

Hadassah-University Medical Center now has three coronavirus wards open, December 2020
(photo credit: HADASSAH SPOKESPERSON)
The country has reached nearly 3,000 new cases of coronavirus per day, according to data published Wednesday morning by the Health Ministry.
The latest report shows that 2,862 people were diagnosed with the virus on Monday, with 3.5% of the 83,227 who were screened testing positive.
Some 381 of current patients are in serious condition, with 138 intubated. The death toll is 3,022, the Health Ministry reported.
The spike comes one day after health officials warned that Israel could enter a third lockdown even before it vaccinates if the morbidity continues to climb.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said that he would push for tightening restrictions as soon as possible in order to avoid such a closure.
He presented the idea of “tightening restrictions” last week to the coronavirus cabinet but was turned down by the ministers, who instead chose to open shopping malls and museums.
The government agreed, however, that if at any point the number of coronavirus cases exceeds 2,500 a day or reaches a reproduction rate (R) of 1.32 – where every three sick people infect four more – a period of “tightened restraint” will be applied.
During the period of tightened restraint, shops, malls and marketplaces would be closed. Gatherings would be limited to 10 people in closed spaces and 20 in open spaces. The education system would stay open in green and yellow cities, but would close in orange and red ones.
A report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center warned Tuesday that Israel was likely to hit that number by the end of the month.


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