For the third consecutive day, the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel was fewer than 150, with the Health Ministry on Thursday morning announcing 88 diagnoses in the previous 24 hours. Overall, just under 16,000 people have contracted COVID-19 in the Jewish state, where for the first time on Wednesday the number of recovered patients surpassed the active cases. Since last weekend, the rate of infections has dropped dramatically, even as the government has moved to ease restrictions on movement that have kept most Israelis at home for six weeks. According to the Health Ministry, there is now a greater capacity to test people for the virus than there are potential patients. Following the implementation of a near-total lockdown this week for Remembrance and Independence days, additional restrictions were lifted on Thursday, including a prohibition on people venturing farther than 500 yards from home for non-essential purposes. All restrictions on solo outdoor physical activities have likewise been lifted. A growing number of businesses are reopening, and it is widely expected that schools for elementary students up to the third grade will resume studies next week, although strict guidelines will be enforced in classrooms.
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