Israel hits “emergency brake” to reopen as corona cases increase

An Israeli medical worker collects COVID-19 test samples at a driving unit in Rishon Lezion, Israel, on June 7. Gil Cohen Magen / Xinhua / Getty Images

Israel will “hit the emergency brake” on its reopening plans as the number of corona cases rises sharply, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday during a meeting of the coronation cabinet.

“There has been a sharp rise in morbidity. It could be that we are already seeing a doubling of the infection rate within ten days. I very much hope not, “Netanyahu said during the meeting.

In the last eight days, Israel has seen about 100 new infections a day, from about 20 new infections a day earlier in the week.

According to the Ministry of Health, 298 people have now died as a result of corona in Israel.

Netanyahu said Israel would freeze further restart measures to be taken in the coming days, reassessing the situation in a week.

Although schools, shopping malls and restaurants have reopened under certain health restrictions, the resumption of train service and the opening of theaters, music halls and other cultural venues will be delayed now.

“The main thing that all the experts have emphasized is that we have to follow the three rules: Wearing masks, keeping a distance of two meters and hygienic – washing hands,” Netanyahu said. “I ask you, for our economy, for our health and for the lives of all of us – follow the rules.”

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