Awaiting Vaccines, Israel Heads for 3rd Shutdown
Israeli citizens received some conflicting pandemic-related news on Thursday, as the nation’s so-called coronavirus czar, Nachman Ash, projected that in less than six months, no mask-wearing would be necessary, while health department officials warned that a third national lockdown will be imposed in the coming days. According to Ash, if vaccinations are indeed administered as planned and at least 60% of the population gets inoculated, then by May 2021 wearing protective gear in public will not be required. Yet updated infection figures published several hours later proved that until vaccines do arrive, Israel is headed for some dark times. The number of new infections, serious cases and test positivity rates have all shot up in recent days, surpassing the government’s benchmarks for initiating yet another total closure. In a matter of days, Israelis will once again be forced to shutter their businesses and stay at home.