Israel undergoes a third lockdown to stop covid-19

Twenty-four hours after dissolving Parliament and announcing a new call for elections, the Israeli authorities have decided to apply a new national confinement to try to stop the pandemic. This is the third national closure in a Jewish state that exceeds 385,000 infected and where 3,150 people have already died from the coronavirus. The new confinement will start this Sunday at five in the afternoon and for an initial period of two weeks in which restrictions such as the prohibition to move more than a thousand meters from home return.

The great novelty this time is that the schools will remain open, although partially. Another novelty is that all those Israelis and foreigners residing in the country who return to it, must be quarantined for ten days in a hotel under the control of the Army.

The authorities have decided to adopt this measure after a sustained increase in infections in recent weeks which, in any case, is far removed from the serious scourge suffered by European countries. The number of infections exceeds 3,000 per day and the Ministry of Health had been warning for several days of the need to adopt shock measures to stop the growth of the curve and reduce it to less than a thousand. The news comes after the first week of the vaccination campaign and 70,000 people have already received the Pfizer vaccine. The Jewish state has also bought doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines and it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was the first to get vaccinated in front of the cameras to convey to the population the importance of taking this step.

On the other side of the wall, however, the Palestinians do not have a vaccination plan. Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh appealed to the World Health Organization (WHO) and friendly countries to guarantee the delivery of vaccines. Of particular concern is the situation in Gaza, where two million people live under the blockade of Israel and Egypt and have a fragile health system.

Political pulse

In the midst of the political pulse of the last days, in which the government coalition has been blown up, the coordinator of the fight against the pandemic, Professor Nachman Ash, had already advanced that “the third confinement is inevitable” and warned that Israel «will have 3,000 more dead in the next two months»If the Government continues with its policy of« doing nothing ». Upon hearing the news of the two weeks of confinement approved by the authorities, Ash has declared that “it is too short.”

Israelis confine themselves again while political parties seem more concerned in the upcoming elections on March 23 than to fight the virus. The new electoral scenario presents a panorama in which, according to the polls, Azul y Blanco, the most voted coalition in April, almost disappeared from the scene and the electorate punished its leader, Benny Gantz, who agreed to agree with Netanyahu after promising to campaign that never would. In its place, the ‘New Hope’ party of former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar breaks in.

The polls again show Netanyahu as the big favorite to achieve victory, but the margin will be narrow and he must have the ability to form a coalition to be able to stay in position. Corruption cases appear not to take their toll on the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, and the Likud voter remains loyal to their leader.


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