Israeli leaders agree to tighten nationwide Covid-19 lockdown

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz reached an agreement to impose a full nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Spokespersons of both leaders said on Tuesday in separate statements that the entire education system will be closed. In addition, most gatherings will be banned, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The health ministry has called to close all shops and commerce every evening from 7 p.m. local time until the next morning.

The cabinet convened on Tuesday afternoon to approve the measure.

The duration of the lockdown has yet to be decided. Gantz supports a relatively short lockdown of about 10 to 14 days while Netanyahu has pushed for a lockdown that will be lifted only after the morbidity drops to a certain level.

At the start of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that mutation of Covid-19 “has gone out of control.”

Israel has entered its third nationwide lockdown on Dec. 27, 2020.

With a population of around 9 million people, Israel’s health ministry reported on Tuesday morning a total of 451,044 diagnosed cases and 3,448 deaths from the pandemic.