Coronavirus coordinator Prof. Ronni Gamzu tonight held a briefing ahead of lifting of the closure tomorrow.
"I thank the people of Israel who for four weeks withstood severe restrictions, and all this during the holidays. At this time I'm proud to be Israeli. But pay attention - this isn't return to routine, but relief. Refrain from social gatherings and adhere to the limit of 10 inside and 20 outside.
"Nature parties, gatherings, and weddings are forbidden and will take us back quickly if we aren't careful. Many of us are unemployed, in hospitals there are 700 seriously ill. Some cities have managed to reduce morbidity and come up with green and orange colors - but they still have morbidity nuclei that can erupt. I want them to be tested more.
"The decision to open the parks in the red cities wasn't political - it was made with informed discernment," he said.
Gamzu attacked Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky's directive, "Opening schools and Talmud Torah is unapproved, dangerous, and against the law." However, he said, "In the red cities, the decline is impressive. I'd like to say congratulations ("kol hakavod") to the haredi sector. If this positive trend continues, some of them will turn orange within days."
The Health Ministry says that 1,469 positive COVID-19 tests were diagnosed yesterday, with the rate of positive tests at 4.5%.
According to the Health Ministry, 34,640 coronavirus tests were performed yesterday, some of them also to detect recovering patients. Since the beginning of Shabbat, 26 Israelis who contracted coronavirus have died.
The number of patients in serious condition is 689, while the number of patients who are connected to ventilator is 238. This marks a decrease in the number of patients in serious condition and in the number of ventilated.
Since midnight, another 313 new positive tests were received. The death toll connected with the outbreak is 2,167. The number of active patients stands at 35,212.