Photo: Flash90

Country wide lockdown resumes for II Passover Holiday

Israel’s battle against the spread of the corona contagion persists, as the number of newly confirmed cases continues to rise. The Israeli Health Ministry confirmed that the number of afflicted individuals from those tested among the general population has risen to 11,868, as of eight o’clock this morning; a leap of more than 2,000 from the 9,755, which were confirmed on Thursday. Out of the total number of sick individuals, 181 Israelis are in critical condition.

Sadly, the Health Ministry confirmed that 38 Israelis succumbed to the disease, raising the total number of corona-related deaths to 117. Nevertheless, there has been a surge in the number of individuals healed, totaling at 2000 Israelis.

Nonetheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted in a televised address that the authorities in Jerusalem are examining recently published data in South Korea, which maintained that “91 people who recovered from the coronavirus were diagnosed again as sick.” He assured “We are checking this. If it is correct, the reality is far more complex that than we formerly believed because it would seem that immunity to the virus is not automatic immunity. It could be that the virus can reawaken and cause infection in wide circles. Therefore, we must all continue to be very cautious.”

While caution is advised amid the ongoing efforts to combat the contagion; the Israeli leader confirmed TV7’s previously reported figures, which evidently indicate a minor – yet significant’ – slowdown in the upward trend of newly-verified coronavirus cases throughout the Jewish State. “I must tell you that we have had great success in this war. Israel is ranked among the safest countries in the world in all indicators relative to its population. I will give you one example: Several weeks ago, at the height, we had a 22% daily increase in the infection rate. Today we are at 4%; the rate of infection is constantly improving, and it is relatively low, in comparison to most countries around the world. This also holds for the mortality rate, the proportion of those who are seriously ill, and the proportion of those who are on ventilators. There is a ventilator for whoever requires one. This also holds for our number of tests per capita. But if we backtrack prematurely from the necessary and essential steps, we are liable to pay a very heavy price in human lives.”

The Israeli Premier went on to address the great economic challenge that negatively impact millions of Israelis. Since the emergence of the epidemic unemployment rates skyrocketed from 4% to 26.1%, amounting to a little over 1 million and 85 thousand Israelis – including almost 100 thousand unemployed since the beginning of April alone. Netanyahu stated “I know that alongside the health challenge, there is also a great economic challenge. Previously, in the two major economic crises of this millennium, I succeeded – with your help – in moving the Israeli economy on to great achievements. We emerged from the crises and the Israeli economy flourished. It is my intention, together with you, to do this again. We have already formulated the economic plan. The immediate economic aid is underway. But we are currently preparing an economic plan for a gradual and responsible exit from the economic lockdown of the corona crisis.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu further emphasized that while a gradual ‘exit plan’ is being implemented, to guide Israel out of this global crisis; the latest positive signs, which offer much needed hope, should not be perceived as a guarantee that our lives will return to the pre-corona routine. He said “I cannot over-emphasize that even if the coronavirus is in retreat, there is no guarantee that it will not return. The virus is liable to attack again; there have already been such situations in the world. Therefore, cautious steps will gradually be implemented in the country and around the world until a coronavirus vaccine is found. Until a coronavirus vaccine is found, we are in a single reality. Only when a coronavirus vaccine is found will we be able to move on to the world of tomorrow, which will be like the world of yesterday. But this is not the situation at the moment; therefore, everything will continue to be managed responsibly in order to protect the most precious thing we have – life itself.”

The Israeli leader continued by listing a series of newly enacted restrictive-measures. Among others, a nation-wide lockdown has been implemented throughout the Jewish State, as of five o’clock today. The general lockdown effectively forces Israelis to celebrate the last day of the biblical festival of Passover within the comfort of their homes.

Furthermore, police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told TV7 that “The Israeli National Police are implementing a government decision to have a full lockdown across the country that will continue for 36 hours, until Thursday morning. This includes, roadblocks are being set-up in and around neighborhoods to prevent people from leaving their houses, for the second Passover festival. Police units are working on the ground; police helicopters are working from the air, and we are also using technology and drones in order to minimize the movements of people; And, our units are ready to implement any further government decision in the near 24 hours to 48 hours.”