Coronavirus Director Ronni Gamzu warned Tuesday that a third of Israeli Arabs will soon be infected with covid-19 and the virus is against spreading fast in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. His repeated opposition to the Uman pilgrimage this year by thousands of Hassidic Jews was ignored. Gamzu appealed to Arab community heads to act, since more than 500 new cases a day is a “disaster” for this sector. The reopening of schools in “red” communities with a high infection rate awaits a government decision. “The yeshiva students returned in capsules, which is a better plan than them staying at home,” he said.
Despite his gloomy outlook, Gamzu stressed that every effort is begin made to avoid general lockdowns. He urged local authorities to use their powers to introduce their own measures for beating down the contagion. “That is the only way.”
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry confirmed a slight rise in new cases, 1,875 in 24 hours just a week before schools are due to reopen. The number of serious cases was marginally down to 417 from a record high of 419. The number of dead stands at 856. Gatherings are still restricted.