The government announced that it will close the school system on Thursday, a day ahead of the initially planned shut down on Friday, as Israel heads to a three-week-long country-wide lockdown and as the daily Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections rate in the country again spiked.
The Cabinet on Wednesday evening decided to accept the proposal of the Health Ministry and national Coronavirus project manager Prof. Ronni Gamzu to close the entire education system, except for special education and various exceptions, including schools, kindergartens and daycare, on Thursday “in light of the significant increase in infection.”
The Ministry of Health on Tuesday recorded 5,523 new cases in 24 hours, the highest number recorded since the outbreak in the country in February.
Of about 55,000 Israeli tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a high 10% returned positive.
Some 1,150 Corona patients are hospitalized across the country. About 535 are in serious condition, 138 of whom are on life support.
A total of 166,794 have contracted the virus since the outbreak in Israel in February, off whom 1,147 have died.
Following the sharp increase in morbidity, the Ministry of Health has instructed hospitals to prepare for the opening of additional Corona wards.
Israel is the only country in the world to march into a second long full closure.