Israel’s corona dead rises to 103, total cases at 10,878

There are 174 serious cases in Israel with 123 people on ventilators as of Saturday.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The number of dead from coronavirus hit 103 on Saturday, the Israel Health Ministry reports.

There are a total of 10,878 cases of which 174 are serious and 123 are on ventilators. The Health Ministry has asked anyone coming in contact with a verified case to enter isolation for 14 days.

Prior to the Passover holiday, which began on Wednesday evening and lasts for a week, the media speculated about the government exit strategy from the tight regulations it imposed on the public, which are estimated to cost the Israeli economy billions of shekels and have led to a million unemployed.

On Saturday evening, the press reported on a plan in the works that would gradually restart Israel’s economic engine. The plan was developed by a team that included the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Israel, the National Economic Council and the Ministry of Economy. The Health Ministry says it has accepted the plan.

The plan calls for a loosening in four stages with each stage taking two weeks.

In the first stage, special education and kindergartens will be opened. In the second, half of primary education students (grades first through third) will return and malls and markets will reopen. The third phase will permit the reopening of recreational spaces which don’t involve big crowds, such as nature reserves, gyms, libraries and museums (stadiums, movie theaters and cinemas will remain closed).

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In the fourth and final stage (expected to take place from May 31 onwards), all businesses will be reopened.

Perhaps unforeseen by the planners is that the public may resist. Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reports that the special education teachers say they don’t want to put their lives at risk and return to work.

However, in one piece of good news, Channel 11 reports that the Israeli Air Force will soon be pumping out 500 ventilators a week.