Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at cabinet meeting, September 5th
Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at cabinet meeting, September 5thYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet is set to meet next Sunday, the first time the group has convened in a month.

The meeting, set to take place next Sunday evening from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., comes following pressure from the Health Ministry to deliberate on a new set of recommended restrictions on public activity.

With the Israeli school system set to reopen this Thursday, after the Sukkot holiday break, the Health Ministry is urging the government to consider new limits on mass gatherings.

Monday’s announcement by the Coronavirus Cabinet, however, set the meeting for next week – after the reopening of the school system, and after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s return from the United Nations General Assembly.

Bennett has vowed at closed-door meetings to oppose the Health Ministry’s recommendations for new restrictions, Channel 12 reported, citing declines in the number of seriously ill COVID patients, particularly the number of seriously ill patients who have been vaccinated, as well as the decline in the percentage of COVID tests coming back negative.

“There is no connection between limits at a soccer game or concert, when the attendees are vaccinated, and the infection rate among the unvaccinated,” Bennett said Saturday night.

“I’m working based on facts and data. The sweeping restrictions you [Ministry of Health officials] have put forward will barely do anything to reduce infections, which are anyway only among the unvaccinated, and will only cause economic damage – hurting incomes with no benefit.”

According to Health Ministry data released Monday morning, 4.26% of tests conducted on Sunday came back negative, up from 3.95% the day before but part of a large trend downwards since the rate peaked on September 2nd.

The number of COVID patients listed in serious condition fell Monday to 671, down from 706 on Sunday.