(May 31, 2020 / Israel Hayom) Israel’s Health Ministry held a special media briefing on Friday, citing a troubling spike in the number of coronavirus cases diagnosed daily.
After several days in which the daily tally dropped to single digits and, at times, to zero, the ministry said that on Friday alone, 85 people had been diagnosed with COVID-19. By Saturday morning, that figure had risen to 121.
Outgoing Health Ministry Director Moshe Bar Siman Tov attributed the spike to the public not following social-distancing guidelines, as the country’s economy has been gradually returning to its pre-pandemic activities.
He noted that senior officials in the health, education and finance ministries, as well as the National Security Council, were holding discussions on the latest developments and the best course of action to counter the increase in infections so as to prevent a situation where another lockdown is necessary.
“We had a period of euphoria. Now we have received a wake-up call,” said Bar Siman Tov.
Ministry data suggests that the majority of new infections are in schools, with seven percent coming from middle schools and 35 percent from high schools, he explained.
“We knew there would be a period of trial and error,” he said when asked whether the decision to reopen the school system had been premature. “If the data shows we need to close schools down again, we will do so.
“We’re trying to reach a balance between maintaining a low number of infections and opening up the economy,” he added.
Bar Siman Tov said the ministry is closely monitoring the centers of infection and assessing the situation.
So far, 17,024 Israelis have contracted the virus, of which 14,812 have recovered. The virus has claimed the lives of 284 Israelis to date.
Noam Dvir and Gadi Golan contributed to this report.
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.