Lockdown restrictions unlikely to be eased again in near future

Senior government sources fear that the slight rise in infection rates could spiral out of control if further restrictions are removed.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Testing for coronavirus
Testing for coronavirus

On Monday, the government’s coronavirus cabinet gave the green light to the easing of several lockdown restrictions, but senior government officials were quick to warn that, “Given that the infection rate appears to be rising, this is the last time we are easing restrictions,” for the time being.

According to a report on Channel 12 News, these senior officials were opposed to further easing of restrictions even though the number of new daily cases is still relatively low. They fear that any further reopening of the economy and resumption of regular activities could lead to a spike in infections that the government will not be able to rein in.

Therefore, the government is arguing that new means of contact tracing and monitoring the situation in general have to be found in order to ensure that a “third wave” does not erupt.

Following the cabinet meeting, shopping centers reopened the next morning, in “green” areas where infection rates are low. A pilot plan for the reopening of indoor malls is also underway.

In addition, students learning in fifth and sixth grade will return to school next Tuesday, and those in eleventh and twelfth grade will resume in-person classes the following week.

At the meeting’s conclusion, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed those present, referring to progress in vaccine development. “I am sure you will all have heard of the wonderful news that the Moderna company has released results indicating a 94.5% efficacy rate,” he said. “Back in June, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and I authorized the signing of an agreement with Moderna for purchase of their vaccines, in order that we should be one of the first countries to receive them.”

He added that, “We signed an agreement with Pfizer last Friday to purchase eight million vaccine doses, sufficient for four million citizens. Furthermore, I have recently spoken with Russian President Putin regarding the possibility of purchasing the Sputnik V vaccine, and we will be making a decision on this in the coming days.”

Netanyahu noted that, “The vaccines won’t be arriving right away, of course – but it’s a matter of months, not years. And even once they arrive, we must still guard against becoming complacent.”

Even so, he proudly related how “Israel has succeeded in bringing down the rate of coronavirus infection to a level that is one of the lowest in the Western world.”