(September 13, 2020 / Israel Hayom) As holiday celebrations under lockdown become a near certainty in Israel, the number of coronavirus carriers in the country continues to rise, reaching 38,008 as of Sunday morning.
The Israeli Health Ministry reported on Sunday that 1,056 COVID patients were hospitalized nationwide, and the number of hospitalized patients listed in serious condition is at a new peak—513, of whom 139 were on ventilators. Another 206 patients were listed in moderate condition.
The percentage of positive test results also continues to climb, with 9.2 percent of the more than 30,000 tests processed since Saturday returning positive results. The number of COVID deaths nationwide stood at 1,108 as of Sunday morning.
Hospitals across the country are reporting more and more COVID units at or over capacity. Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon was at 112.5 percent capacity as of Sunday, whereas Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem was at 107.69 percent.
On Saturday evening, the Health Ministry reported that only 2 percent of Israelis live in cities, towns or local authorities coded “green” under the “traffic light” system, down from 8 percent last Thursday.
Less than a week before Rosh Hashanah, 129,520 Israelis were in quarantine. Since July 1, nearly a million (978,000) citizens have been instructed to quarantine themselves after suspected contact with confirmed carriers, according to data the Health Ministry reported to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Committee chairman MK Zvi Hauser (Derech Eretz) has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Defense Ministry and the coronavirus cabinet to look into the possibility of shortening the mandatory period of quarantine from 14 days to 12 if individuals test negative on the ninth day in quarantine. Shortening the quarantine period by two days would save some NIS 150 million ($43 million) per month and NIS 500 million ($145 million) per year.
“Israel must update its quarantine policy as part of its exit strategy from the upcoming lockdown,” said Hauser. “Keeping the mandatory quarantine at 14 days harms the public’s trust and the Israeli economy. We cannot keep putting thousands of people in quarantine every day without a clear policy on the matter.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.