Health Ministry Dir-Gen. Prof. Hezi Levi on Monday broadcast an urgent message of deep concern about the persistent rise of coronavirus infection, while also stressing the government’s determination to steer clear of another national lockdown. Of the 27-28,000 daily covid-19 tests, 6pc were now proving positive. The number of daily infections had climbed by 932 on Monday to more than 40,000. Hospital cases had grown to 526 of which 183 were severe – another uptick. The number of dead rose by 2 to 364. Responding to the Knesset committee’s decision on Sunday to overrule the government’s decision to close public swimming pools and gyms, Prof. Levi said his ministry would respect the decision but also continue to insist that venues attracting crowds must be shut if more far-reaching measures are to be avoided. Germs and viruses were rife in gyms, he explained, and transmitted instantly – especially in the course of aerobic exercise.