Israel launched its third coronavirus blockade on Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed optimism that a “world record” vaccination drive will restore some normality within a few weeks.
After the rapid resurgence of the detected infection, the Netanyahu administration announced three days ago that it would re-impose strict measures that previously helped limit the infection.
The blockade, which began on Sunday at 5 pm (Greenwich Mean Time 1500), forced most people to stay within 1,000 meters (yards) of their homes.
There are many exceptions, such as grocery shopping, medical requests, legal proceedings, and exercise.
The main difference in Israel’s third blockade compared to previous versions is related to the schools in which students can attend classes.
Instead of closing almost completely, Israel keeps schools open, but with restrictions, most children combine class days with home-based learning.
The alleys of the Mahaneyevda open-air market in Jerusalem were usually relatively dormant on Sundays and were full of shoppers buying groceries at the last minute before the blockade began.
Vendors of the Niemann Spice Store on the market shrugged when asked if they would allow the business during the blockade.
“As far as we are concerned, we are open,” he said. “No one told me what was still happening.”
Meanwhile, Israel has promoted a vaccination campaign. This reached 280,000 people who got the two first shots they needed as of Sunday morning.
“Pride of the people: Israel is the world champion of immunization!” Netanyahu tweeted on Sunday, showing a graph showing that the Jewish state had the highest per capita immunization rate.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said late Saturday that Israel wants to vaccinate a quarter of its population, or about 2.25 million, with the coronavirus within a month.
He said he had spoken to the head of a company that manufactures vaccines that expressed confidence that he could provide the required number of doses.
Israel’s vaccination target is at a “world record-sized” pace, the Prime Minister said.
Netanyahu was the first Israeli to receive a COVID-19 jab on December 19, prior to the start of the national vaccination program last week.
According to Arnon Afeck, director of Sheva Hospital near Tel Aviv, the campaign not only helped Israel escape from the pandemic, but also saved lives.
“We believe we will be the first country in the world to reach herd immunity,” said Afeck, a former director of the Israeli Ministry of Health.
“But even after we have been able to vaccinate all people over the age of 60, the majority of serious and fatal cases will occur, which will give us great relief about our health care system.” He told reporters.
Israel has identified more than 400,000 cases of coronavirus, including more than 3,200 deaths.
The looming election
Netanyahu has political incentives to promote campaigns to accelerate vaccination.
The coalition government he formed with his previous election rival and current Defense Minister Benny Ganz collapsed last week, triggering an election in March. This is Israel’s fourth vote for the first time in two years.
Netanyahu’s campaign could be hampered by the start of a stronger phase of his long-awaited corruption trial and the departure of his stubborn ally, President Donald Trump, from the White House.
Political analysts said President Netanyahu hopes that the rapid promotion of vaccination will help Israel’s pandemic-stricken economy recover before the election day.
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Quote: Https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2020-12-israel-nationwide-lockdown.html With the increase in vaccinations obtained on December 27, 2020 (December 27, 2020), Israel Enter the third national blockade
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