The Health Ministry reported on Wednesday the addition of 832 new coronavirus cases, boosting the total to 331,179 since the onset of the pandemic in March. Active cases number 9,064, including 268 in serious condition of whom 120 are on ventilators. Out of 59,488 screening tests, 1.4pc were positive. The spike in new cases is accounted for by rampant infection in the Israeli Arab communities – more than 50pc, although they represent one-fifth of the population. The next stage in the exit program following the last lockdown is a pilot plan to reopen 15 shopping malls and markets from next week in “green” areas, along with the continued phased reopening of all schools coupled with tests. Previously sending the lower grades back to the classrooms proved to have no impact on the pandemic’s spread. However, if infection figures veer out of control in the next week or two, former restrictions may be snapped back and further relaxations paused.