On Sunday, the ministerial committee in charge of monitoring the health situation agreed to a “night closure” of about 40 cities with the highest rate of injuries, and the closure of most of their schools, in addition to restricting gatherings as of Monday, according to Netanyahu. He added in a statement, “I know that these restrictions are not easy, but in the current situation there is no way to avoid them,” without specifying the duration of these measures.
At the end of the week, the number of deaths from the virus exceeded a thousand cases in the country, after increasing by three times during the summer, which also witnessed demonstrations against Netanyahu’s management of the crisis.
In light of the high death toll, the names of those who died of the virus topped, on Sunday, the front page of the best-selling newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, which on one of its internal pages wrote “a shameful failure to manage the crisis since May.”
According to data collected by Agence France-Presse, Israel ranks fifth among the countries in the world that have the highest infection rates, compared to the population during the past two weeks, ahead of countries such as Brazil and the United States.
On Wednesday, the country with a population of about nine million recorded more than three thousand injuries in one day, a record that undermines all the praise the Israeli administration of the epidemic received during the first months of its spread.
In early March, Israel imposed strict precautionary measures to contain the epidemic, declaring a movement ban, suspending flights, and closing businesses that provide non-essential services.
In mid-May, the Israeli government began to ease the closure measures, when two days passed, during which no new infections were recorded.
The government announced the reopening of educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, bars and places of worship, and allowed the organization of weddings, while adhering to the instructions of the Ministry of Health, the most important of which is wearing a muzzle.
But the number of injuries increased nearly five times during July, to more than 129,000 today. Some attribute the rise to the speed in easing restrictions, while others blame the inefficiency of the health system.
In light of this, the Israeli government announced its intention to re-impose closures on dozens of cities and neighborhoods, especially ultra-Orthodox and Arab neighborhoods.
The Israeli authorities have classified the areas according to the colors of the traffic lights, starting with the green symbolizing the area in which the situation is under control. Yellow, orange and red colors were assigned to the regions according to their severity gradually.
The Israeli army will deploy 7,000 reserve soldiers to reinforce the police forces in the “red” cities.