Government Fails to Decide on Pandemic Exit Strategy
Israel’s coronavirus cabinet on Sunday convened for its weekly meeting, discussing for seven hours the latest pandemic figures and future courses of action without reaching concrete conclusions regarding the reopening of schools, businesses and other sectors. While the country has lately been gradually winding down the total national closure imposed for the second time in September, nearly all elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools have remained shuttered, alongside shopping centers, cultural and entertainment venues, sporting facilities and places of worship. On Sunday, Israel’s new so-called coronavirus czar Nachman Ash took office, replacing the beleaguered Ronni Gamzu who had for several months been battling the political world in an attempt to enforce stricter health restrictions, mostly to no avail. Ash will be tasked with reversing the latest worrying trend in the positivity rate of new tests, which has steadily risen over the past week, reaching nearly 3% on Sunday. More than 2,730 Israelis have died since the outbreak of the pandemic.