After the country began to withdraw some of the major restrictions imposed as part of the third lockdown at the end of December to limit the spread of COVID-19, large numbers of Israelis crowded large shopping malls, stadiums and swimming pools on Sunday.
Television reports show that thousands of mall attackers took their first opportunity to browse stores for weeks.
Although shoppers largely adhere to the health guidelines, in some cases people are seen as crowded and unable to maintain social distance.
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From Sunday, all Israelis can open street shops, shopping malls, markets, museums and libraries.
Although the “Green Pass”
At the time of the reopening, the incidence rate continued to decline, especially among high-risk groups, which is largely due to Israel’s rapid vaccination campaign.
The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that more than 4.3 million Israelis of the country’s approximately 9 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine, of which 2.9 million have received two injections. Currently, about 3 million Israelis are not eligible for vaccination, including those under the age of 16 and those who have recovered from COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health said on Saturday that the coronavirus vaccine has a “dramatic” effect, and the latest data show that these vaccines are 98.9% effective in preventing deaths caused by COVID-19.
However, the coronavirus czar Nachman Ash said in a speech on Army Radio on Sunday morning that the impact of the vaccine must not be taken as a warning.
He said: “I am very happy to see these data, but should be treated with caution so that the public does not make mistakes and believes that they can act according to their wishes.”
The Military Intelligence Task Force said on Sunday that Israel’s R value, which measures the number of spreads of the virus, or the number of new cases caused by each coronavirus infection, has fallen from 0.85 last week to 0.79.
Health officials said that to relax restrictions, the R value must be lower than 0.8.
The Ministry of Health announced that another 1,240 people were diagnosed with the virus on Saturday. Due to lower testing levels, new cases tend to decrease after the weekend.
The Ministry of Health said that 857 people were seriously ill, including 273 who died on ventilators, and the death toll was 5,569.
In addition to opening up businesses, grades 5-6 and 11-12 are allowed to resume face-to-face classrooms in low-infectious cities or medium-infected cities with high vaccination rates. Previously, kindergarten and grade 1-4 students were designated as “green” and “yellow” cities with low infection rates in the government’s color coding system to increase the incidence.
It is expected that students in grades 7 to 10 across the country will continue their distance learning for at least two weeks. The director of the Ministry of Health Chezy Levy told Kan Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday morning that all students will return to school on March 7.
He said: “We want to let everything go, not let all students gather in the school, otherwise it will cause infection and disease.”
During the third wave of the virus outbreak in Israel, the infection rate of children and the reopening of schools were a major problem. Compared with the beginning of the pandemic, the proportion of children infected is much higher, which may be due to the new virus variants and the fact that a large proportion of adults have been vaccinated.
Levi said that Israel plans to vaccinate children after they are vaccinated, but did not give a timetable.
Although Israel has vaccinated dozens of children with specific COVID-19 risk factors, it has not yet approved the vaccine for children under 16. No serious side effects have been reported.
These decisions were made under the circumstance that the incidence rate continued to decline, especially among high-risk groups, where the incidence rate continued to decline, thanks in large part to Israel’s rapid vaccination campaign.