Israel’s government has ordered a third national lockdown as COVID-19 infections continued to surge and hospital wards filled with patients.
The closure will start this coming Sunday at 5:00 p.m. and continue for at least 25 days, said a joint statement by the Prime Minister’s office and the Health Ministry.
The strict lockdown will resemble that of the second. Retail stores and businesses will be shuttered. Businesses that don’t cater to the public will operate at 50% capacity. Public transportation will operate at 50% capacity. Schools will be partly open. People are to stay within one kilometer of their homes except for obtaining food and medicines.
“if we do not act immediately, it will not remain so and there will be a very sharp increase, both for the critically ill and for deaths. If we delay taking action against the disease and the severe outbreak we see, we will pay a very heavy price.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said
After the number of active cases of Israelis sick with coronavirus skyrocketed to 72,164 on October 2, that number dropped to only 7,629 active cases by November 15, but in the past month has soared back up to 29,404 as of Wednesday afternoon. Of the 888 Israelis currently hospitalized with the virus, 510 are in serious condition with 116 of them connected to respirators.