The administrators of Israel’s universities urgently discussed on Tuesday, March 10, the possibility of not opening the coming semester next week as confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 61. The health authorities denied plans to close schools. “We’re still far from Italy,” said Moshe Simantov, Director General of the Health Ministry, while announcing new restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.
Public gatherings were reduced to a maximum of 2,000 – down from 5,000 – and people were advised to think twice before staging any events. The public was urged to cut down on visits to hospitals and institutions for senior citizens, who are the most vulnerable to the serious symptoms of coronavirus. Elderly people with background ailments were advised to avoid outside contacts while remaining active.
This directive does not explain how senior citizens are expected to care for themselves, do their shopping and perform other essential activities without outside contacts. Isolating this group of society may have far-reaching social and health connotations.
The health authorities and the police have set up joint teams for keeping track of travelers returning home abiding by the 14-day quarantine orders.
The economic fallout is becoming severe: Thousands of workers, especially in the badly hit hotel and tourist industries, face dismissal.