JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli leaders will meet on Monday to discuss how the country will move forward with the nationwide lockdown after seeing a slight decrease in the infection rate.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during an address on Sunday that he remains cautious and vigilant.
“Now, there are those who are already saying that they are cautiously optimistic that the lockdown is already beginning to work, to flatten the growth curve. I am more cautious than the cautious. I want to wait until at least ten days have passed,” Netanyahu said.
He explained that the government will make decisions about the next stages of the lockdown on Thursday.
“In the meantime, tomorrow in the Cabinet we will discuss long-term coronavirus exit data, the transition from stage to stage, safeguarding the older population, bigger fines, and increased discipline and enforcement, because this is in our soul,” he said Sunday.
Israel’s National Security Council released a report on Sunday revealing that the country’s infection rate has been declining. An average of 13.7% of COVID-19 tests came back positive from Sept. 26-29. By Sunday, that number had dropped to 11.7 % positive.
Last week, health officials said the lockdown can only be lifted after the rate of new positive infections dips below 7%.
While the infection rate is slowly decreasing, the number of seriously ill patients grew from 810 on Thursday to 878 on Monday. Leaders have said if the number of serious cases goes above 800, hospitals will run the risk of becoming overwhelmed.
So far, more than 268,000 people have been infected with the virus in Israel. Most of these cases are being fought at home and more than 200,000 have recovered. As of Monday morning, 1,719 people have died.
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