How did the lockdown help in Israel? Only after three weeks does it begin to take hold slowly

“It means that the measures are working,” Sharon Elrai of the Israeli Ministry of Health told the Times of Israel, but added with one breath that this did not mean that the Jewish state should win. Rather, it is proof that the country has gone in the right direction. The current measures will therefore remain in force until at least mid-October.

Israel introduced a strict closure three weeks ago. After the first week of the nationwide lockdown, the state tightened the measures even more. With the exception of trips to work, people are not allowed to move more than 500 meters away from the house, schools, shops other than groceries, restaurants, sports grounds and cultural centers have remained closed. A maximum of twenty people can then gather outside.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has opted for an almost complete lockdown of the country after more than 6,000 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected in a country of nine million in 24 hours, with the number of new infections exceeding five thousand a few days in advance.

For comparison: in the Czech Republic, 5,394 new infections were recorded on Thursday, and more than 20 percent of the tests performed regularly are positive. On Wednesday, it was even 31 percent. However, the measures still in force have not been reflected in the statistics, so it is possible to look at least at the results achieved by the Jewish state thanks to the ordered closure. Just because the Czechia is tightening its own anti-epidemic measures on Friday and Monday, and the government is threatening people with a lockdown if they do not comply with existing measures.

Israel performs almost three times more tests than the Czechia, the declines in the testing curve correspond to the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

illustrative photo

Foto: Ammar Awad, Reuters

In ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities refusing to submit to secular power, the number of infected is five times that of the rest of the population.

The daily increase decreased by 1,500

In contrast to the situation where the number of infected people in Israel increased by more than five thousand per day, the increase in the number of positive testers has remained about 1.5 thousand lower in recent days. On Thursday, the medics of the Jewish state counted 3,692 new positive tests out of a total of 48,804 performed.

A total of 286,393 people have already been infected with the new coronavirus in Israel, with 59,347 currently in infectious diseases (so-called active cases). There are 852 patients in serious condition and 241 on lung ventilators.

Collective immunity? Forget …

The theory that the population could develop collective immunity against coronavirus is refuted by Israeli health ministry officials. “Collective immunity would cost many sick and dead. And we will not go down this path, “said Elrai from the public health department.

A nationwide serological study conducted in Israel from July to September found that only 5.5 percent of the population had antibodies to coronavirus. And this is not enough even if it is taken into account that, given the greater prevalence of the population in recent weeks, the proportion of the population with antibodies will actually be higher now.

“According to rough estimates, we are definitely not above 20 percent. We are very far from collective immunity and it is not appropriate to hold hopes in this direction, “she concluded.

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