Digital tracking (illustrative)
Digital tracking (illustrative) iStock

Israel's Health Ministry has agreed to stop tracking cell phones - but only after the number of new cases daily drops below 1,000, or when the percentage of cases located by the Israel Security Agency (Shabak) drops below 5% of the total for three weeks, Israel Hayom reported.

It is expected that these goalposts will be met in another three weeks, after which the tracking will cease entirely. Beginning on Saturday, tracking will be limited to only those coronavirus patients who are defined as "avoiding" epidemiological investigations.

The decision was made by the ministerial committee which focuses on Shabak issues, in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling under which the tracking will only apply to those who do not cooperate with epidemiological investigations.

The committee decided that those who reported zero contact, and those who were not able to be contacted or interrogated, would be tracked.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen (Likud), who heads the committee, said: "The decision to selectively use this Shabak tool is thanks to the human epidemiological investigation system, the vaccine campaign, and the decrease in infection rates. The use of the Shabak tool until now was crucial to the fight against coronavirus, and thanks to it, we located 100,000 carriers and prevented more than 98,000 new cases, 2,000 serious cases, and 750 deaths."

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