5,647 daily cases in Israel, but positive early signs lockdown working

Key indicators show some improvement in Israel’s corona situation.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israel’s corona numbers are starting to show some improvement. Despite the increase in new cases Monday (5,647) over Sunday (2,907), it was the second consecutive day in which recoveries (6,899) outpaced new cases.

Monday was the 10th full day of a tighter lockdown period that imposed heavy restrictions on movement and gatherings and largely reversed a loosening of the economy that began after the first wave of the pandemic.

The Health Ministry also reported on Tuesday a total of 875 serious cases and 1,757 deaths, with 15 more disease-related fatalities on Monday.

Already last week there were positive signs. On Sunday, the director general of the Health Ministry, Hezi Levy, told Kan News, “We need to be careful, but there is a trend of a slowdown in morbidity, which is reflected in both the number of those who test positive and the percentage of those who test positive.”

That trend continued on Monday. The positive-test rate declined from 11.8% Sunday to 11.4%. The target number cited by Israeli heath officials is seven percent.

Israel has struggled with the coronavirus in the second wave, which has been blamed on a too-early opening of the economy. Another factor may be a failure by the population to follow the health guidelines, many instances of which have been reported in the press, from school graduation parties to religious gatherings.

Making enforcement more difficult is the refusal of left-wing protesters to obey the rules against gatherings. Some religious groups have also resisted. When confronted, they cite the fact that the government hasn’t done enough to stop mass protests as a pretext for their own disobedience.

Adding to the feeling that the rules are selectively enforced are reports that government officials have flaunted the regulations themselves. Most recently, Minister of Environmental Protection Gila Gamliel was caught traveling to Tiberias to observe Yom Kippur with her parents during the lockdown.

She became infected with the virus and may be investigated for ignoring the rules.