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Corona Chief Cautiously Confident Country Can Clear COVID Concerns Chop-Chop

Israel’s new coronavirus czar Nachman Ash provided a surprisingly optimistic forecast on Monday, saying he believed the country would be able to return to “more or less normal life” by March, and that he was hopeful the holiday of Passover, which begins on the evening of March 27, would be celebrated restriction-free. Ash explained that once 60% of the Israeli population got inoculated, pre-coronavirus life would resume shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Health Ministry officials warned that the recently instated direct flights from Tel Aviv to the Emirates, part of the normalization pact between the two states, could pose a serious risk, as tens of thousands of Israeli tourists are expected to return from Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the coming weeks. Government experts project that hundreds of new patients will thus enter Israel and infect thousands more. Israel on Monday crossed a somber threshold, counting 3,000 deaths since the pandemic began. The number of patients in serious condition has consistently risen in recent days, reaching over 350 on Monday.