Coronavirus ward
Coronavirus ward Nati Shohat/Flash90

The government’s coronavirus project manager, Prof. Nachman Ash, expressed concern at his daily briefing that the country is seeing a continuous rise in the number of coronavirus cases that could eventually lead to yet another nationwide lockdown.

“We are still in a state of emergency,” Ash said. “We are seeing the number of infections rise, even as the general public seems to think that the epidemic is basically over.

“We will be meeting in order to decide what steps to take to address this,” he added, “and meanwhile, we will be continuing to take measures already agreed upon, including epidemiological studies, expanding testing, and enforcing quarantine.”

1,227 people tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, the first time since October 16 that the number of new daily infections topped 1,200. The Health Ministry has proposed introducing two criteria for the imposition of another lockdown: a R-rate of over 1.3 (the rate at which the number of cases is increasing), and over 2,000 new cases being diagnosed per day.

Meanwhile, Kan News reports that any new closure will be a so-called “breathable lockdown” lasting three weeks, with the education system remaining open, as well as businesses that do not receive customers.

For the time being, the Health Ministry is not recommending the imposition of a closure during the upcoming festival of Hanukkah (starting next Thursday night for eight days), but no final decision is likely to be made until the infection rate is reassessed in coming days.