Defense Minister Gantz quarantined as corona cases hit new high

The government finds itself forced to quickly back-pedal, imposing restrictions on gatherings and travel.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz headed into quarantine on Wednesday morning as corona cases hit a record daily high of 1,320 on Tuesday.

Gantz was exposed to a corona carrier who subsequently became sick on Sunday.

“Gantz feels well and will continue to handle ministry affairs and his other public responsibilities while in isolation,” his office said.

Israel finds itself in a difficult situation against the pandemic, which has made a comeback in a second wave after the country had successfully fought it off in the first with tough measures.

The government finds itself forced to quickly back-pedal. It has again tightened restrictions on public gatherings. And it has restricted the number of people who can travel in public buses.

It has so far avoided a national lockdown, preferring to focus on corona hotspots. The haredi city of Beitar Illit, which has seen a 224 percent jump in infections in the last week, has a curfew imposed on it starting at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Netanyahu has set a goal of reducing the number of infections to 100 a day for an unspecified period of time until the renewed restrictions can be lightened.

The prime minister had been given high marks by the public for his handling of the crisis, but that appears to have shifted. A Channel 12 poll this week found that Netanyahu’s approval ratings have dropped. Only 46 percent of Israelis agree with the way Netanyahu is running the country. That compares to 74 percent two months ago.

Adding fuel to the fire, on Tuesday, Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, said she was resigning.

Sadetzki made it clear in a Facebook post that her reason for leaving was due to her disapproval about the way the government had failed to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are currently 14,104 confirmed cases in Israel.