Israel will “hit the emergency brake” on its reopening plans as the number of coronavirus cases rises sharply, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday during a government meeting with the coronavirus.
“There has been a very steep increase in morbidity. It could happen that we already see a doubling of the infection rate within ten days. I very much hope not,” Netanyahu said during the meeting.
In the last eight days, Israel has seen about 100 new infections a day, compared to about 20 new infections a day a week earlier.
According to the Ministry of Health, 298 people have now died as a result of the coronavirus in Israel.
Netanyahu said Israel would freeze further reopening measures that were due to take place in the coming days, reviewing the situation within a week.
Although schools, shopping malls and restaurants have reopened under certain health restrictions, the resumption of train service and the reopening of cinemas, music halls and other cultural spaces will now be delayed.
“The main thing that all the experts pointed out is that we have to adhere to three rules: Wearing masks, keeping a distance of two meters and hygiene – washing hands,” Netanyahu said. “Please, for our economy, for our health and the lives of all of us – please follow the rules.”