Quick-Read: Daily Israel Coronavirus Updates for August.
At the beginning of August over 18 million cases of the novel coronavirus had been diagnosed world-wide. Covid-19 has been reported in 213 countries. July was Israel’s worst month so far – the number of diagnosed cases almost tripled from around 25,000 to just under 71,000 cases on July 31st.
Will the appointment of Prof. Roni Gamzu as the Chief of Israel’s corona task-force make any difference? Will numbers drop? No one has the answers yet but we all have a communal responsibility; we must make sure that we do our very best to protect ourselves and others from infection. Wear your masks and adhere to social distancing and hygiene directives.
31 August – 7:25am
As of today 114,020 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 555 new cases were recorded but only 5,500 tests were carried out. Currently 20,305 individuals are infected with the virus and 444 patients are in serious condition. A total of 919 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 13 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
Corona Cabinet and the traffic light plan
- 48 hours before the start of the new school year, Prof. Ronni Gamzu’s traffic-light plan is approved and it will come into effect on Sunday. Each municipal area will be categorized according to coronavirus numbers and restrictions on those zones will be placed accordingly.
- In the next few days the Corona Cabinet will discuss the classification and criteria for red zones
- Most importantly, in the meantime, all schools will open on Tuesday, September 1st, in ALL areas – even red zones
- Members of the cabinet also approve the Minister of Culture and Sports’ plan. Commencing Sunday 1,000 people or a 60% capacity for audiences in closed areas
New school year
- Minister of Education Yoav Galant and Prof Gamzu will meet this morning to further discuss the education strategy for red zones.
- 24 hours before the start of the new school years the teachers’ union is threatening a strike. The labor courts are to decide whether a strike is legal. Teachers are concerned about their exposure to the coronavirus, teachers who are in high risk categories and how the situation will be handled if they are diagnosed with the virus.
- 1,500 new olim children will be entering Israel’s education system for the first time tomorrow 🙂
Travel abroad – green countries
- These 9 countries have now also been classified “green” and travelers to them are NOT required to self quarantine upon their return
- Other green countries
- *The first EL AL flight to Dubai in the UAE this morning and the flight has been granted permission to fly over Saudi Arabia. Travel time to the UAE is just over 3 hours.
The budget and Ministry of Finance
- Following the chaos that surrounded getting the country’s budget approved (an extension was eventually granted),, Shaul Merridor – Head of the budget department in the MOF, has resigned. Finance Minister Israel Katz met with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, last night, and informed him that he intended to advance Shaul Meridor’s resignation process. President Reuven Rivlin commented: “I very much regret Shaul Meridor’s resignation as head of the budget department at the Ministry of Finance. The implications are of great concern”.
- The heatwave continues but today and tomorrow will see a slight drop in temperature. As the weekend approaches, it is will get hotter. The heatwave is expected to continue into next week as well. Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water and keep yourself properly hydrated
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Good luck for the new school year!
30 August – 7:03am
- As of today 113,465 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Over the two-day weekend just under 3,000 new cases were recorded. Currently 20,017 individuals are infected with the virus and 438 patients are in serious condition. A total of 906 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 22 new deaths over the weekend. – Worldometer
- Some 30,000 coronavirus tests were carried out this weekend and 8.6% yielded a positive result. – N12
- STRIKES From today, lab workers will be on strike. The situation in public health, medical testing laboratories in untenable for the workers. They are demanding a pay increase (currently earning 31 NIS/hour). They are also dissatisfied with their workload and their working conditions. Hospitals and clinics will not be providing lab services except for life saving testing (operating rooms and maternity wards). Testing in ICU and emergency rooms will not be affected. Elective testing and non urgent testing procedures will no be carried out as well as testing prior to non-urgent surgeries. How does the strike affect the coronavirus crisis? Only coronavirus positive test results will be returned to patients.
- Will there be a strike on September 1st? A parents and teachers strike is still a strong possibility. 2.4 million children are expected to start school on Tuesday. At the same time approximately 20% of parents announce that due to the coronavirus situation they will not be sending their children to school.
- CORONA RESTRICTIONS The coronavirus cabinet is scheduled to meet today (after the 4th postponement). Prof. Ronni Gamzu is expected to present his plan for the new school year and the upcoming Jewish holidays. Due to the delays and postponement of the meeting, his traffic-light plan has still not been approved. On today’s agenda: possible increase in restrictions, keeping schools closed in red-zones, harsher directives for red-zones like a night-time curfew. Large public gatherings could be allowed in green-zones and preventing travel to Uman (much to the dissatisfaction of the ultra-Orthodox Breslev community) will also be under discussion.
- Gamzu: If in the end, the only way to protect the public’s health is a curfew, and there is no other choice, I will implement a curfew on red-zones
- CORONA STATS Some 98,000 citizens have been placed in isolation in the last week in Israel and over 726,000 have been isolated since the onset of the pandemic in February. Almost 850,000 people are unemployed. – Channel 13
- DEMONSTRATIONS More anti-Netanyahu demonstrations across the country. Some 20,000 people participated in peaceful demonstrations last night.
- WEATHER Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water, keep yourself properly hydrated and limit being outdoors or any strenuous activity this week during the extreme heatwave that is affecting the entire country. Temperatures are expected to peak well into the 40s and even close to 50°C in the Arava. Hospitals and emergency rescue services are on high alert. The heatwave is expected to continue until the weekend. The high temperatures are to be accompanied by high levels of humidity; Bet Dagan – 90% humidity, Haifa – 80% humidity and Jerusalem – an unusually high 65% humidity level. Sunday and Monday temperatures will peak. On Tuesday (back to school), there will be a slight drop in temperature however as the weekend draws closer, temperatures are expected to rise again.
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28 August – 07:24am
- As of today 110,403 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 2,000 new cases were recorded. Currently 21,793 individuals are infected with the virus and 409 patients are in serious condition. A total of 884 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 9 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- Breslev hasidim manage to circumvent upcoming travel restrictions and make their way to Ukraine before the travel ban comes into effect today,.
- Large anti-Netanyahu demonstration took place last night in Tel Aviv> The demonstration took place without police approval.
- HEALTH WARNING – HEATWAVE!!! A sharp increase in temperatures expected on Saturday and expected to continue until Wednesday. The heatwave originating in the Persian Gulf will bring extremely high temperatures which are expected to peak on Sunday and Monday. Make sure you drink adequate amounts of water and keep yourself properly hydrated and do your utmost to wear a mask and maintain coronavirus health directives.
- Temperatures expected to reach well into the 40s.
27 August – 07:18am
- As of today 108,403 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 1,943 new cases were recorded. Currently 21,062 individuals are infected with the virus and 404 patients are in serious condition and of them 118 are being ventilated. A total of 875 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 16 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- Unemployment rate as at 25.8.2020 stands at 21% – N13
- Ukraine approved a temporary ban on the entry of foreign citizens on Wednesday, which will be in effect until September 28 – the same date as Yom Kippur on the Jewish calendar. This will effectively prevent thousands of ultra-Orthodox from visiting the Uman over the Rosh Hashanah festival.
- The health minister on Wednesday urged Israelis not to hold large family meals for the Jewish High Holidays over the surge in coronavirus infection rate in the country. Yuli Edelstein says Israeli public has the responsibility ‘to hold back’ during Jewish High Holidays and the Health Ministry makes ‘best decisions by best experts’;-YNet
- Gamzu slams politicians who question his methods of handling the pandemic. He said there are two ways of battling the pandemic. “The easy but destructive way is to close everything – economy, education, all systems of life for five to three weeks; the second method is difficult, complex and complicated, but it is constructive,” He continued “In the second wave, the State of Israel decided to take the hard way, and I believe that is the way.” – YNet
- Diaspora news: USA -6,000,365 cases, South Africa – 615,701 cases, UK – 328,346 cases, Canada – 126417 cases, Australia – 225,322 cases
26 August – 06:50am
- As of today 106,460 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 1,988 new cases were recorded. Currently 21,779 individuals are infected with the virus and 427 patients are in serious condition. A total of 859 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 12 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- Just a few weeks before the chagim and the start of the new academic year, Israel is beginning to see a spike in the number of daily diagnosed cases and the number of those that are in a serious condition. An average of close to 2,000 new cases of the coronavirus are being diagnosed every day. Approximately 1/3rd of the infections are in the Arab sector.
- Are these figures a clear reflection of Prof. Ronni Gamzu’s complaint that he is not getting the support he needs? Should the situation continue, he sees no point in being in the job. His traffic light plan has still not been approved. The MOH has lost its authority to deal with the situation and the power is in the hands of the politicians.
- The battle of Uman: The Jewish community in the city of Uman are angered by the Ukrainian decision to limit entry to Israelis. The president of Ukraine comments that this is as a direct result of a request from Bibi Netanyahu to limit the entry of Israelis. The Ukrainians say that this should not be interpreted as anti-semitiic move, it is a health issue alone. Unless Ukraine closes its borders completely, it will be difficult to completely prevent travel to Uman.
- Another 7 coronavirus hotels to close their doors by the end of this week. Three were closed already last week.Economic efficiency is cited as the reason. The Commander of the IDF’s coronavirus facilities Col. Nir Baron said that the hotels cost the state millions of shekel to run. – Jpost
- Thousand attend Slichot prayers at the Western Wall. Worshippers are divided into capsules of 30 people.
- Hospitals are urged to use recovered coronavirus patients as volunteers to provide humanitarian support for those currently infected with the virus.
25 August – 06:33am
- As of today 104,472 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 1,809 new cases were recorded. Currently 21,983 individuals are infected with the virus and 416 patients are in serious condition. A total of 847 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 13 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- Yesterday 22,224 coronavirus tests were performed in Israel – 6.6% tested positive for Covid-19 – N12
- The budget extension bill was approved in the Knesset last night. An extension was given for 120 days. Sixty seven voted in favor and 37 voted against. The new deadline is December 23rd, 2020. Tension between Netanyahu and Gantz continues this morning after some harsh words last night.
- High unemployment not set to improve by the end of this year.
- Will the capsule system in schools be cancelled? The matter is under consideration. Opening of high schools in September, in red zones (with high covid-19 cases), might be delayed. Many parents are scared and reluctant to send their children to school on September 1st saying that the educations system is not sufficiently prepared. Education Minister Yoav Gallant stressed in a statement on Monday that the school year will open as planned. -JPost.
- Monday’s coronavirus cabinet meeting was postponed. The meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday. One of the issues on the table is the restrictions to be placed on synagogues and worshipers over the high holidays. Another matter under contention; the halting of flights to Uman, Ukraine over the holidays to prevent the spread of the disease. Thousands of religious hasidim and others flock to Uman on Rosh Hashanah to visit the grave of Rabbi Nahman of Breslov.
24 August – 06:56am
- As of today 102,633 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 730 new cases were recorded. Currently 22,315 individuals are infected with the virus and 398 patients are in serious condition. A total of 834 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 15 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- A little over 9,100 coronavirus tests carried out on Sunday and a 6.8% positive infection result was recorded.
- The economy, the budget and elections
- In the shadow of the coronavirus crisis, Israel’s political crisis is still unclear. Netanyahu accepts budget extension to avoid new elections but now the dispute is 120 day delay (until the end of 2020) or a 100 day delay. The bill must be passed by midnight today and if not the Knesset will dissolve and elections will take place. The fear is that even 120 days is not sufficient to pass the budget. A lack of confidence in the economy is affecting the marketplace.
- There is no disputing the education budget; billions of shekels are needed for the coming academic year. Only 8 days until the start of the new academic year and the Ministry of Education continues with preparations. A strike is on the cards; the parents association, the teacher’s union and local governing bodies are threatening.
- Should new elections be called for, Netanyahu will need Bennett’s support to form a new government.
- If an election were to be held today, Channel 13 reports – the Likud would take 31 seats and the Blue and White party would take 11 seats only. Yemina lead by Naftali Bennet would take 18 seats. The left is likely to win 49 seats and the right 63 seats. Avigdor Lieberman’s party – Yisrael Beitenu – will retain its 8 seats.
- It is expected that more than 500,000 Israelis will remain out of work in 2021
The corona cabinet to meet today and finalize restrictions; ‘lockdown’ or ‘traffic light’ plan for the upcoming holidays. Gamzu: “I will not change my position – we will make the right decisions”
- The Israel Airport Authority announced on Sunday that foreigners coming from countries that are not on the green list won’t be able to enter Israel until at least October 1. – JPost
- Israelis dodge COVID-19 tracking. Those fearing a quarantine order after unwittingly being near a coronavirus carrier, render themselves untraceable by switching their cellphones to ‘airplane mode’ or using ‘burner’ SIM cards instead – Reuters.
23 August – 7:07am
- Over 100,000 cases of the coronavirus diagnosed since the onset of the pandemic in Israel. In fact as at the time of preparing this report, there are almost 102,000 diagnosed cases in Israel. Over the weekend more than 2,300 cases were diagnosed. Currently there are 22,463 active cases, 398 patients are in serious condition. A total of 819 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 24 new yesterday over the weekend. – Worldometer
- Thousands demonstrated, 30 people arrested and tens injured (including policemen) at the demonstration last night in Jerusalem on Balfour St., in front of the PM’s residence. Demonstrations also in Caesarea and major intersections across the country.
- A defining day ahead: Will Israel go to the polls? The PM – Bibi Netanyahu is taking Blue & White’s proposal under consideration in a last attempt to prevent the current Knesset from dissolving on Monday night at 12pm. The opposition calls on ‘no-confidence’ vote from Blue & White
- The corona cabinet to decided within the next days – ‘lockdown’ or ‘traffic light’. The ‘traffic light’ plan allows for lighter and less harsh restrictions on zones that have low infection rates.
- Women of the Wall violate Health Ministry regulations at Western Wall on Friday. The group refused to enter the available prayer areas in the women’s section. They also attempted to smuggle a Torah scroll into the plaza by hiding it under several toys in a baby carriage. -Jpost
- Close to half of Israelis are not optimistic about the country’s ability to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, but 75% still plan to send their children to schools on September 1 if they are opened; this according to a survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI). According to the study, which is the 11th such study in this ongoing series and was conducted from August 11-12, 45% of Israelis expressed pessimism regarding the ability of Israeli society to overcome the ongoing crisis. Comparing to data from earlier studies, this shows a significant drop in public optimism. -JPost
21 August – 7:12am
- As of today 99,599 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel, Yesterday 1,630 new cases were recorded. Currently 24,225 individuals are infected with the virus and 389 patients are in serious condition. A total of 795 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 14 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- Netanyahu and National Security Council (MALAL) pushing for nationwide lockdown while Gamzu – the coronavirus commissioner has reservations. – Walla
- Lockdown over the Jewish holidays still unclear
- Doubts over Gamzu’s traffic light plan: “It’s a good plan, but it isn’t clear whether it is implementable”
- Diaspora stats: USA – 5,746,272 cases (over 17,000 cases per million), South Africa – 599,940 cases (10,000 cases per million), UK -322,280 cases (4,700 cases per million), Canada – 123,873 (just under 3,300 cases per million), Australia – 24,4207 cases (956 cases per million). With 99,599 cases – stats reflect that Israel has 10,829 coronavirus cases per million people.- Worldometer
20 August – 6:26am
- The most incredible headline in today’s news: – It was discovered that the deaths of 53 seniors, all residents of care-homes were NOT recorded into the official coronavirus death toll. According to the Health Ministry, the discrepancy stems from private geriatric institutions reporting their deceased separately from state-run institutions. The MOH is now investigating (Of course this makes us wonder how accurate all the statistics are).
- The figures have now been updated and these are the current statistics:
- As of today 97,969 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel.
- Yesterday 1,560 new cases were recorded.
- Currently 24,096 individuals are infected with the virus
- 398 patients are in serious condition – 118 are on ventilators.
- A total of 781 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel (including 53 seniors). – Worldometer
- Yesterday a little under 21,000 coronavirus tests were carried and 6.2% of them yielded a positive result. A daily average of 20,694 coronavirus tests were carried out in Israel, over the past 11 days. The average daily infection rate for the same period is 7.09% – N12
- A senior Likud official said on Wednesday that Knesset may be dissolved in the coming days as the schism with coalition partners Blue & White continues to grow. “It’s impossible to work. Will we go to elections on Monday? That would be terrible, but letting this situation persist seems even worse to me.” he said.
19 August – 6:43am
- As of today 96,409 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel. There is almost no doubt that we will reach 100,000 cases by the weekend, Yesterday 1,658 new cases were recorded. Currently 23,711 individuals are infected with the virus and 404 patients are in serious condition. A total of 708 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 16 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- The budget, or rather a lack of one, still dominates the headlines. No agreement has been reached and there are 5 days left in which to do so. Senior officials in the Likud and Blue & White parties are still hopeful that an agreement will be reached in time thereby preventing a fourth election in 2 years.
- Curfews over the chagim – still undecided. Every effort will be made to keep street shopping open and from hurting small businesses. The MOH wants to avoid a curfew. Prof. Gamzu also opposes a closure. Actual restrictions have not yet been publicized but it is expected that significant curbs on gatherings and movement will be made.
- Gamzu: “The public is not taking the directives seriously, so they go wild,” He added that police will rev up its enforcement campaign to make sure public health orders are kept.
- In a first business deal between UAE and Israel, Emirati APEX National and Israel’s Tera Group say they’ll work on developing a testing device to diagnose COVID-19 more quickly
18 August – 7:50am
- On July 31st there had been just under 71,000 coronavirus cases recorded in Israel. As of today – 18 days later, almost 95,000 cases have been recorded. Yesterday 2,071 new cases were recorded. Currently 23,768 individuals are infected with the virus and 399 patients are in serious condition. A total of 692 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 7 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- The official unemployment rate stands at 12.4% – 510,100 individuals are without work.
- A balance of around 300 million shekels remains in unpaid grants – some 427,000 Israelis have not yet received the grants they are entitled to.
- The Knesset has voted in favor of postponing the presentation of the budget for another 100 days. At the same time the Likud and Blue & White parties continue to battle it out in an attempt to find a solution to their budget related disagreements.
- School on September 1st – the Ministry of Education presents its outline and plan to return pupils to school. Pre-schoolers will have to make do with saying goodbye to their parents outside. Parents will no be allowed into the classroom. Parents of first graders however will be allowed to accompany their children for the first few days. Matric bagrut exams will limited to 6 subjects.
- Minister of Education – Yoav Galant: School fees to be reduced substantially
- Prof. Ronni Gamzu – the Corona Commissioner is to present his plan for the upcoming holiday season and it is expected to include some harsh restrictions:
- Limiting the number of people at synagogue services
- Shutting hotels and tourist attractions
- Restricting movement
- Recommendation to celebrate with ones nuclear family only
17 August – 6:21am
- A total of 92,680 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 444 new cases were diagnosed but at the same time it must be mentioned that according to N12 less than 5,000 tests were carried out yesterday (8.6% of these tests were positive). Usually an average of more than 20,000 tests are carried out daily. Currently 23,485 individuals are infected with the virus and 382 patients are in serious condition. A total of 685 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 11 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- An assessment announced on Channel 13: The recession to continue until the end of 2020. Unemployment figures to remain high for much longer. More than half a million Israelis are currently unemployed.
- At the end of the second quarter of 2020:
- Israel’s GDP is down by 28.7%
- Per capita private consumption fell by 44.2%
- Business output fell by 33.4% -Globes
- Chief Economist at the Finance Ministry reports: In Q2 only 20,600 homes were purchased, the lowest quarterly figure since 2011. -Globes
- If no vaccine is found, zero growth can be expected in 2021
- Unemployment expected to rise before the High Holidays in September
- With negative coronavirus test results in hand, Ben Gurion airport begins to stir as Israelis travel to Bulgaria (4,681 active cases), Croatia (1,185 active cases), Athens Thessaloniki, Crete and Cyprus (Greece: 3,043 active cases)
- Israel waives mandatory isolation from 20 countries. The 20 countries on the list are: Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Slovenia and the UK.
16 August – 6.12am
- Around 1 million new cases of the coronavirus are being diagnosed every three to four days across the globe. Five worst hit countries are: USA, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa. Out of 210 countries, Israel ranks, according to Worldometer, in 30th position as the country with the most number of infections. Over the weekend 2,400 cases were diagnosed bringing to the total number of cases in Israel up to 92,233. The past week has seen an average of around 1,500 new cases of the coronavirus diagnosed daily. This means that within 5 days Israel could be looking at a total of 100,000 cases. Since the onset of the pandemic here, there have been a little over 2 million coronavirus tests carried out. In other words, just under 1/4 of the population has been tested. At this rate, if Israel does not increase its daily testing, it will take another 2.5 years before every person is likely to have been tested at least once. There are 23, 609 active cases of the virus and 387 patients are in serious condition. The death toll stands at 674 – 23 new deaths on the weekend.
- Another weekend of demonstrations in Jerusalem and Ceasarea in front of the Prime Minister’s official and private residence and around the country. In Jerusalem, 11 demonstrators were arrested.
- Countries accepting Israeli tourists without the need for isolation will require them to have a negative coronavirus test result between 48 -72 hours ahead of time. Health funds will carry out these tests upon the presentation of an airline ticket.
- Flights to Croatia, Bulgaria and Greece are expected to commence on Tuesday. Greece will accept 600 Israeli tourists every week
- The restaurant industry continues to be in turmoil. Yet another set of new directives are expected to be announced today. Depending on the size of the establishment – 10 – 20 diners will be allowed to dine inside and 30 will be allowed to dine outside.
14 August – 6:37am
- More than 21 million cases worldwide. A total of 88,151 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,518 new cases were diagnosed (6% of tests were positive). Currently 24,425 individuals are infected with the virus and 371 patients are in serious condition. A total of 651 Covid-19 fatalities in Israel – 12 new deaths yesterday. – Worldometer
- The corona cabinet decides: 20 people allowed to participate in a prayer service.
- Yaacov Litzman – Minister of Housing & Construction and ex-Minister of Health to Netanyahu: You are making a mockery of the Haredi community.
- It’s official from next week Israelis permitted to travel to these ‘green’ countries: Croatia, Bulgaria and a few Greek islands under strict conditions and without having to enter isolation upon their return. If the country becomes ‘red’, isolation will still not be required.
- Passengers will be required to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport 4 hours prior to their flight with a negative coronavirus test.
- Every two weeks a new list of ‘green’ countries will be published.
13 August – 6:55am
- A total of 89,822 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,671 new cases were diagnosed in Israel (6.4% of tests were positive). Currently 25,403 individuals are infected with the virus and 369 patients are in serious condition. A total of 639 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 17 new deaths yesterday – the highest number since the onset of the pandemic. – Worldometer
- Israelis now permitted to visit Bulgaria (4,932 active cases) and Croatia (686 active cases)
- Today, Greek Minister of External Affairs and Israel’s Minister of Transport – Yisrael Katz to discuss the possibility of flights from Israel to Greece
- List of countries who are willing to accept Israelis to be published on Friday. Countries expected to be on the list: Montenegro (1,102 active cases), Rwanda (657 active cases) and Denmark (1,383 active cases)
- The battle of the budget in the shadow of the coronavirus: one year or two? MK Micky Zohar (Likud): The Blue and White party are to blame for the situation. – Channel 13
- The corona cabinet meets today to discuss restrictions on ‘red zones‘
- Diaspora news: USA – 5,360,302 cases, South Africa – 568,919 cases, UK – 313,798 cases, Canada – 120,844 cases, Australia – 22,356 cases
- Anquilla in the Caribbean: all 3 patients with the coronavirus in that region, have recovered – there are no active cases.
12 August – 7:19am
- A total of 86,593 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,871 new cases were diagnosed in Israel (6.7% of tests were positive). Currently 25,891 individuals are infected with the virus and 375 patients are in serious condition – 110 of them are intubated. A total of 622 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 9 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Up to 500 people can now attend outside performances; -audience to be seated in capsules of 20 people -fixed partitions must separate the capsules, -2 meter distance between capsules, -audience to be seated on chairs with an empty chair between unrelated persons. Directives also include ticket sales online, performer and audience interaction, food sales, intermission, ablution facilities etc. -JPost
- Coronavirus taskforce chief Prof. Ronni Gamzu warns that general lockdown may be imminent due to a drop in the number of Israelis getting tested for the virus, and the public’s failure to adhere to regulations. -YNet
- Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz to undergo back surgery today. Minister of Civil and Social Affairs Michael Bitton to stand in for him. This comes in the shadow of the bitter dispute between Gantz and Netanyahu over the budget that risks plunging Israel into a 4th election.
- Health Funds to offer free corona testing for Israeli travelers abroad – Channel 13
- International News: Putin claims that Russia has a corona vaccine and that his daughter has been vaccinated.
11 August – 8:46am
- Israel has overtaken China! A total of 85,222 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. China has recorded 84,712 cases. Yesterday 1,720 new cases were diagnosed in Israel (7.4% of tests were positive). Currently 24,610 individuals are infected with the virus and 386 patients are in serious condition. A total of 613 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 13 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Important restrictions that came into effect today
- Two passengers may travel together in a private vehicle together with the driver
- Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors
- Health Ministry district physicians can close a private business for 72 hours if one of the staff members is found to have contracted the coronavirus
- Entertainment industry workers are happier today as outside performances will be permitted in ‘capsules’
- Unemployment – 21.6%
- Government crisis
- In the shadow of the coronavirus crisis our Prime Minister and alternative Prime Minister are still at loggerheads over the budget. No decisions or compromises have been made. A one year budget vs. a two year budget. The Ministry of Finance needs approximately 2.5 months from the time the budget is presented to the time it is approved.
- On a TV Channel 20 interview last night, Netanyahu hints that the rotation of prime ministers in the unity government will never take place – Channel 13
10 August – 7:45am
- A total of 83,002 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 678 new cases were diagnosed. Currently 24,869 individuals are infected with the virus and 395 patients are in serious condition. A total of 600 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 7 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Updated restrictions to come into effect on Tuesday
- Discos, bars, pubs, event and celebration halls, water and amusement parks – closed
- Cultural events that adhere to Health Ministry regulations can take place on consultation with the coronavirus commissioner and the Culture and Sport Ministry
- Holding any event with more than the allotted number of people, be it a conference or festival – forbidden
- People must maintain a distance of two meters from one another in all public spaces
- Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors – in all instances
- Public information signs to be erected by local authorities near parks, reminding users to keep distance, wear masks and refrain from gathering
- In businesses open for patronage – one person for every seven square meters permitted on premise
- Eateries – 20 people inside and up to 30 people outside. Dining in hotels: up to 35% capacity
- Group therapy – up to 15 people
- In pools, mikvaot – One person per six square meters
- Pools for toddlers can reopen – a parent can accompany the children
- No eating in food courts in malls or marketplaces
- Delivery services: delivered goods to be placed adjacent to the front door of the residence
- Up to two unrelated people may travel together in a private vehicle together with the driver
- Health Ministry district physicians can decide to close a private business for the period necessary to prevent infection if one of the staff members is found to have contracted the coronavirus
- Public gatherings: 20 people in open areas and of more than 10 in a structure.
- More details here…
- The NIS 25.2 billion Check for Every Citizen plan is some 90% complete. By today, 4.1 million people will have received their stimulus funds. There are still 800,000 people, 184,000 between the ages of 18 to 21, who have not yet received their funds. BItuach Leumi says the reason is that it has not been able to confirm their bank accounts. (Check for Every Citizen: The plan includes NIS 750 for each citizen over 18, and an additional NIS 500 for a first child. For each subsequent child, the family receives NIS 500 up to four children and NIS 300 for the fifth child onward)
9 August – 7:07am
- A total of 82,234 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Just over 2,700 new cases were diagnosed over the weekend. Currently 24,660 individuals are infected with the virus. 388 patients are in serious condition (up by 30). A total of 593 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 17 new deaths over the weekend.- Worldometer
- Thousands participate in ongoing anti-Netanyahu demonstrations on Saturday night across the country; in front of the PM’s official residence on Balfour St., Jerusalem, in Caesarea and at 300 major road intersections. This is the 7th weekend in a row that demonstrations have taken place.
- Today’s weekly cabinet meeting has been cancelled due to disputes between the Likud and Blue and White parties
- Gantz and Netanyahu are still not able to agree on the budget. If no agreement can be reached, the Knesset will dissolve [again] and a 4th election will be called. The country cannot bear the cost and logistics of another election during corona times. Money could be better spent on other things.
- Ongoing efforts to ensure that the academic year opens as planned on September 1st. Grade 1 – Grade 3 will return – regular class size, regular timetable. It was hoped that by end of August, a target of 400 new daily infections would be reached.
- Minister of Education – Yoav Galant and Speaker of the Knesset – Yariv Levin to meet for the first time today since their dispute erupted.
- International News
- USA list of Covid-19 ‘safe countries’ to visit – 20 countries on the list just published, but Israel is not.
7 August – 7:50am
- A total of 79,559 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,6420 new cases were diagnosed. Currently 25,556 individuals are infected with the virus. 358 patients are in serious condition and of them 100 are being intubated. A total of 576 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 11 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Tziona will begin human trials on its vaccine by October. Approximately 100 people will participate. The second stage of human ttrials will involve vaccinating 1,000 people.in December. The third stage of human trials will involve 30,000 people. (There are currently more than 135 possible vaccines undergoing preclinical trials around the world) – JPost
- The weekend restrictions and curfew have been lifted
6 August – 6:40am
- A total of 77,919 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,721 new cases were diagnosed. Currently 25,614 individuals are infected with the virus. Three hundred and forty five patients are in serious condition. A total of 565 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – sadly 4 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Is the daily goal of 400 new cases within reach before September 1st?
- Yesterday’s corona cabinet meeting
- Gamzu: The next two weeks is a trial period – a time for evaluation and assessment and urges for public cooperation. “This is the last opportunity for a moderate line. Should infection not decline within two weeks, we will be obliged to consider restrictions including the possibility of a local or nationwide lockdown.”
- Skies may open, in some capacity, as early as the middle of the month
- From August 9th – increased and intensified efforts in local ‘red’ and ‘orange’ zones that have a high rate of infection and morbidity
- Increased enforcement to prevent large gatherings
- Weekend restrictions lifted; businesses to remain open and playground restrictions lifted.
- International news
- Just under 19 million diagnosed cases of the coronavirus worldwide (5 million in the USA, 300,00+ in the UK, 118,000 in Canada, South Africa records over half a million cases and Australia just under 20,000 cases). Over 700,000 deaths recorded
5 August – 6:34am
- A total of 76,918 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,768 new cases were diagnosed. Currently 25,803 individuals are infected with the virus. Three hundred and forty one patients are in serious condition – 99 are on ventilators. A total of 561 persons have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – sadly 15 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Jerusalem and Bnei Brak still seeing the highest daily numbers of new coronavirus cases. -N12
- Some 2,000 army reservists have received training and in the coming days they will assist health officials with testing and epidemiological investigations of COVID-19 patients. It is hoped the additional manpower will shorten the testing procedure and cut the chain of infection by receiving a diagnosis and concluding the epidemiological probe within a day and a half instead of the five days it currently takes -YNet
- Indecision within the corona cabinet: immediate curfew or lockdown or implement drastic measures and restrictions until end of August (prior to the start of the new academic year).
- Holiday period between Yom Kippur and the end of Sukkot: Fear that thousands of workers be sent on CHALAT again
- Should Breslov Hassidim be allowed to travel to Uman, Ukraine over Rosh Hashanah? Uman is the burial place of Rabbi Nachman, and it is traditional for Breslov Hassidim to visit there on the holiday. National Security Council (NSC), Health and Foreign Ministries to examine options within the next few days. The Health Ministry feels strongly that the corona risk is too high and the traditional gathering of 30,000 people on a street and a half in Uman, should not be allowed to occur. – JPost
- Netanyahu & Gantz standoff over the budget. If the budget is not approved by August 25th, new elections will take place. Netanyahu says long-term plans are meaningless in light of coronavirus, while Gantz dismisses PM’s claims as ‘fairytales’
4 August – 6:20am
- A total of 72,815 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. Yesterday 1,615 new cases were diagnosed. Currently 26,313 individuals are infected with the virus. Three hundred and thirty one patients are in serious condition – 99 are on ventilators. A total of 546 person have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 10 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Approximately 8% of all tests are yielding a positive result
- Another lockdown? The corona cabinet to decide. Number of infections must be brought down so that schools can open on September 1st. A two week long full lockdown (at the end of August), weekend and night-time curfews are on the cards.
- A corona cabinet meeting on Wednesday to determine new restrictions. Gamzu will present an update to his ‘Traffic Light’ plan. Steps must be taken to reduce the numbers
- Cities and towns divided into 3 categories; red, green and yellow with restrictions and limitations according to specific criteria. New ‘red’ towns to be announced.
- Public gatherings – restrictions to be announced.
- Pikud HaOref (The Israel Home Front Command) in charge of distributing information to the public
- The PM vs. Gamzu: further restrictions vs. a lifting of restrictions
- 3,000 IDF reservist have received training and will work with Pikud HaOref
- Hospital chiefs are outraged – the healthcare system cannot cope with the extra demand and wards are collapsing and they warn labor union representatives of possible layoffs due to diminishing income caused by the coronavirus. – YNet
- Yifat Shasha-Biton: It’s not right that all sectors have reopened except the entertainment industry
- A hospital worker in central Israel has reportedly broken quarantine and boarded a flight to Ukraine, despite the fact he was still ill with coronavirus.- YNet
3 August – 6:41am
- A total of 74,430 cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Israel since the onset of the pandemic. On Monday 597 new cases were diagnosed. Currently 26,602 individuals are infected with the virus. Three hundred and forty two patients are in serious condition. A total of 536 person have succumbed to Covid-19 in Israel – 10 new deaths yesterday.- Worldometer
- Only some 7,500 tests carried out daily on Saturday and Sunday which is approximately 1/3rd of the number of daily tests carried out the previous week.
- The unemployment rate rises slightly – now 21.6% – N12
- The Corona cabinet to meet today to discuss restrictions on certain sectors of the economy
- Prof. Roni Gamzu – Israel’s Corona Czar, is expected relax some of the restrictions that are currently in place.
- As per Gamzu’s plan, the IDF will be training 3,000 reserve soldiers to handle various aspects of the corona crisis. Reservists to undergo special training.
- In the last 10 days, 33 individuals who should have been in isolation are discovered holidaying in Eilat at these hotels:
- Crowne Plaza
- Central Park
- Herod’s Palace
- Istrotel: King Solomon
- Isrotel: Laguna
- Leonardo Plaza
- Leonardo Royal Resort
- Coral Beach
- Magic Palace
- Queen of Sheba
- Royal Garden
- Club Hotel
- A couple get a 5,000 NIS fine for defying isolation orders and Eilat preparing a court claim against the couple who endangered thousands. – Chanel 13
- Business owners claim that technical issues, on government websites, hamper the distribution of their grants and stipends
- Some 16,000 young adults from the USA are scheduled to enter Israel before Rosh Hashanah for study, seminary and pre-army programs. Prof. Gamzu – those defying corona restrictions will be deported. – JPost
2 August – 7:34am
- Over 2,000 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus diagnosed in Israel over the weekend. Does this drop mean we have turned the corner or does it just reflect that as the criteria for testing has changed, fewer tests are being carried out and therefore fewer cases are being diagnosed.
- 26 people succumbed to the virus on Friday and Saturday bringing the total death rate to 526. There are now 72,218 diagnosed cases in Israel. There are 26,590 active cases and 328 are in serious or critical condition. – Worldometer
- A drop in numbers and serious cases is hoped for within the next week – if actually so this can be interpreted that latest measures are being effective. (If not, it’s back to the drawing board….)
- If schools are to open in September, the numbers of infected must drop by at least 200/day.
- In spite of the weekend curfew and restrictions, many retail outlets defied the directive and remained open. They were not fined.
- Countrywide demonstrations took place last night in Jerusalem and Ceasarea (in front of the PM’s official and private residences) and at major intersections across the country. Among the demonstrators were frustrated small business owners, members of the entertainment industry and many who are calling for Netanyahu’s resignation.
- Grants and stipends for every citizen; monies to be transferred to personal bank accounts today. Over 1 million families are expected to benefit. Thousands will not get the grant where individual’s bank account details are missing from the Bituach Leumi database.