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The Health Ministry reported 4,013 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a record high. There are currently 33,691 active cases of which 488 people are hospitalized in serious condition and 143 on ventilators. There have been 1,077 coronavirus related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The Ministerial Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic has decided to impose a full two-week lockdown on the entire country starting next week.
In the first stage of the plan, movement will be restricted to within 500 meters from a person’s home. Stores will close except for food and pharmacy outlets and only people with essential jobs will be allowed to work outside the home. Schools will close as well as all tourism and leisure services, and restaurants will only be allowed to offer home deliveries. Prayer and other gatherings would be permitted under the restrictions imposed on red zones, with a limit of no more than 10 people congregating indoors and no more than 20 outside.
In the second stage, between October 2 -11 (the Sukkot holiday) travel between cities will be banned, schools will remain closed, stores, tourism and leisure services will remain closed, and private sector places of work will be limited to 30-50% of regular capacity.
In the third stage, Israel will return to the current traffic light plan, if the numbers of new infections have fallen significantly. Otherwise a lockdown could continue.
The lockdown plan must now be approved by a vote of the entire cabinet on Sunday.
The Israel Institute for Biological Research announced yesterday that it will begin human trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine next month. Human testing will be conducted at Sheba and Hadassah medical centers and will include approximately 100 volunteers.
Syrian state media reported that Israeli warplanes fired missiles at targets in the suburbs of Aleppo this morning. The report claimed that Syrian air defense systems shot down most of the missiles.