Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that Israel was not going to lift more restrictions on the economy due to the uptick in the number of new coronavirus cases.

Speaking at the Health Ministry during a ceremony marking the appointment of a new director general, he noted that the rise in diagnosed carriers meant that a planned rollout of a new phase in the easing of restrictions, aimed at restoring the economy to full capacity, would be placed on hold.

“We are going to pause the reopening of the economy, at least until we can see the plateauing of the curve,” said Netanyahu said, referring to the graph of the COVID-19 infection rate, which has seen an upward trajectory for the past several days.

For the past week, the number of new daily cases has been rising steadily, with more than 250 cases being diagnosed on some days. More than 300 Israelis have died so far from COVID-19, although the ultimate goal of avoiding a massive influx of patients in hospitals has been achieved, in part because of strict lockdowns in April.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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