Israel’s national coronavirus center warned that urgent steps were needed to avoid another lockdown.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
“Israel is entering a second wave of the coronavirus illness and we have to take immediate and urgent steps connected to enforcement and to stopping the loosening [of regulations] in order to prevent the need for another lockdown a month from now,” according to an official statement released Saturday evening by Israel’s National Center for Information and Knowledge in the Battle Against the Coronavirus.
“If steps aren’t taken,” the document said. “The number of new daily infected will reach within a month more than a 1,000 and the number of dead to many hundreds.”
To underline the way coronavirus has made a comeback, the document pointed out that in May, the average number of daily cases stood at 16. In recent days, it has reached 300 and more. On Thursday, it reached its height since the end of April – 349, reports Israel Hayom.
As of 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning, there were 4,716 active cases of which 43 are in serious condition. There have been 306 deaths, two in the last 24 hours, according to Health Ministry statistics.
The Finance Ministry, which has urged a loosening of restrictions, urged the population to adhere to the Health Ministry’s guidelines, indirectly signaling its fear that a lockdown would be necessary if the second wave isn’t stopped quickly.
An earlier report found that the Israeli economy is expected to shrink over six percent in 2020. A second lockdown would plunge that number to 11 percent, according to estimates.
Israel’s national coronavirus center warned in its release that if Israel didn’t take immediate steps “in another month painful social and economic decisions will need to be made.”
The Health Ministry ordered hospitals to prepare the immediate reopening of their coronavirus wings. The ministry’s Head of Public Health Prof. Sigal Sadetsky said “an alarming and continuous rise in coronavirus incidence” is expected, “so we are again warning.”
“We are not trying to stress the public, but rather to tell it the truth. There is a limit to the capability of the health system,” she told Israel Army Radio.