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October 21, 2020 8:45 am

Israeli Health Officials: Country No Longer Contains COVID-19 ‘Hotspots’

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People wear protective face masks as they shop at a market, amid Israel’s second-wave coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown, in Jerusalem, Oct. 5, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad. – Israeli health officials said on Tuesday that the country no longer contains “red” coronavirus hotspots that require local lockdowns.

The officials made this claim, according to Ynet, ahead of a coronavirus Cabinet meeting (scheduled for Tuesday, but later postponed until Wednesday) to discuss the additional easing of restrictions since some aspects of the month-long nationwide lockdown were lifted on Sunday.

Israel is planning on a phased reopening of the economy, including schools and small businesses, with intervals between each step to allow for an assessment of the COVID-19 morbidity rates.

Coronavirus Project Coordinator Ronni Gamzu said on Tuesday that though the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) cities of Bnei Brak and Elad still have significant morbidity rates, they are eligible to lose their “red” classification.

As of Tuesday afternoon, according to Israeli Health Ministry figures, there were 23,612 active cases of coronavirus from a total of 305,633 since the onset of the pandemic in Israel. There were 631 patients in serious condition, with 231 on ventilators, and a death toll of 2,271.

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