Health Minister:
'We must impose a total lockdown and close all schools'

Amid rising infection rates, Yuli Edelstein calls for total lockdown, closing schools and all non-essential businesses, with no gatherings.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yuli Edelstein at press conference January 5th 2021
Yuli Edelstein at press conference January 5th 2021
צילום: איתן אלחדז/TPS

Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) called Tuesday for the imposition of a complete lockdown, with significantly tighter restrictions to the current partial lockdown.

Speaking with reporters at a press conference outside of the Health Ministry’s offices, Edelstein said the government needs to buy time for the mass vaccination program, “building a bridge” between the current high infection rate and a lower, post vaccination rate.

“We are asking to build a bridge between the terrible infection situation to the success of the vaccines,” said Edelstein.

Edelstein urged the government to close the education system, and bar all nonessential businesses from operating.

“We need to get to a total lockdown. No nonessential work, with the education system closed, with zero gatherings. Only in this kind of situation can we get through this new outbreak and get to a situation where a million Israelis have been vaccinated.”

The government is set to deliberate Tuesday on proposals to impose a tighter lockdown, amid a rise in the infection rate.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is pushing for a 10-day total lockdown, while Blue and White is looking to push off imposition of a tighter lockdown, saying the efficacy of the current partial lockdown needs to be assessed.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry released data showing that more than 8,300 new infections of the coronavirus were diagnosed Monday, with 7.6% of all tests coming back positive, a sharp increase over the past several days.