Israel halts easing restrictive measures amid rising COVID cases

Israel has decided to stop all measures to ease restrictions that were planned for the coming days due to an increase in COVID-19 morbidity, the state’s Prime Minister’s Office said.

Train services in Israel will not resume after scheduled to reoperate on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also, the opening of theaters and cinemas, scheduled for June 14 under restrictions, will be postponed for at least another week.

One exception is that event halls are allowed to reoperate, according to the Health Ministry’s guidelines. Weddings and other events could be held with a maximum of 250 guests.

The number of coronavirus cases in Israel has reached 18,032 with 169 new cases, the state’s Ministry of Health said Monday.

According to the ministry, the number of death cases has remained 298, and the number of patients in serious condition, 29, has not changed as well, out of 110 patients currently hospitalized.

The number of recoveries rose to 15,127, with 36 new recoveries, while the number of active cases rose to 2,607, the highest since May 21.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “experts showed us that there has been a very steep increase in morbidity, so we decided to hit the emergency brake.”

Netanyahu also addressed the Israeli public that “all the experts emphasized that we must keep the three rules of wearing masks, keeping two meters’ distance and washing hands. I ask you, for our economy, for our health and for the lives of us all, to follow the rules.”

Netanyahu added that the cabinet will check the restrictions again next week.

China and Israel have cooperated on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 19 and April 1, two video conferences were held between Chinese doctors and Israeli counterparts to share experiences in containing the virus’ spread and treatment of coronavirus patients.