Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said the country is going into another wave of corona virus lockdown after he voiced alarm that a surge in infections was pushing the nation to “the edge of the abyss”.
Israel had initially been contemplating a second lockdown during the pandemic, on Sept. 18. But over the past week, the number of daily new cases has reached about 7,000 in a population of 9 million, exhausting the resources of some hospitals.
“We reached a decision to pull the handbrake,” Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said on Israel Radio about the cabinet decision, without giving precise details of the restrictions.
Many Israeli news sites also said the revised edicts that’ll take effect on Friday pending parliamentary ratification, will allow fewer businesses to operate, and only in “essential” sectors such as finance, energy, health, technology, agriculture and food sales and production.
The revised edict was likely to put a damper on demonstrations outside Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence, where protesters, many of them from outside the city, have been calling for his resignation over alleged corruption.
He has denied charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a trial that started in January, and rejected allegations from protest activists that a tougher lockdown was essentially aimed at stalling the demonstrations against him.