Israel news summary

Israel News for 4-20-2020

News Update

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Deaths from the coronovirus in Israel have risen to 173. There are 114 people on ventilators. But the recovery rate has surpassed the new infection rate for the 4th day in a row.

A Magen David Adom (MDA) senior official said on Sunday that the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Israel may be higher than the official count as health authorities don’t test for the virus in civilians who have passed away at home or at assisted living facilities.

The government today will consider lifting travel restrictions on the city of Bnei Brak and some ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem, after the rate of infection there has dropped in recent days.
Israel partially reopened its economy on Sunday by allowing around 30% of the workforce to return to work under strict regulations formulated by the health ministry (see Friday’s email). Only certain bus lines are operating, and train service is still shut down.
Other than going to work, people are still restricted from going more than 500 meters from their homes. Visiting others in their homes is not allowed, even if they are close friends or family members.
Schools, beaches, parks, playgrounds and municipal sporting centers will remain closed. Shopping malls, markets, restaurants, toy shops, beauty and hair salons and clothing stores also remain closed.
Some retail stores – including those selling electrical goods, household goods, furniture and others – are allowed to operate if they take the following precautions including taking the body temperature of customers upon entry, delineating a two-meter distance between customers at cash registers, erecting a physical barrier between buyer and seller, and frequent disinfecting.
The number of people in the store at the same time must be restricted so that there are no more than two customers per active cashier. Four people per active cashier are allowed in stores larger than 400 square meters.
Deliveries can be made from all stores, as well as pickup from stores that adhere to the regulations. Take away of food from restaurants and cafes is still prohibited.
Although the death rate from the coronavirus in Israel is amongst the lowest in the developed world, the Forbes magazine study that ranked Israel #1 in dealing with the epidemic, which was touted by PM Netanyahu, is apparently not a Forbes study (Forbes did not conduct a study or rank countries) but only a blog post published on the Forbes website by the founder of a small, Hong Kong based venture capital firm, known as the “mother of fake news”.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu and Gantz met again today but still cannot agree to form a government. Gantz, who is also interim Knesset speaker, has threatened to advance legislation that would prevent anyone that is facing criminal charges from forming a government, unless Netanyahu agrees to a coalition deal.
If no deal is made soon, Israel will be looking at a fourth round of elections.
Around 2,000 people rallied in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against the PM. The demonstrators maintained social distancing, of course.