JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In an urgent press conference convened during the course of Shavuot, Prime Minister Netanyahu and health ministry officials warned that they may have to rethink the opening of the educational system in the wake of a significant rise in infections after schools opened a few weeks ago. The officials exhorted the public to continue to strictly maintain the ministry’s guidelines regarding social interaction.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, who participated in the press conference despite his being religious because he deemed it Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives), said Sunday that there is a five-fold increase in infections in Israel over the past few days.
Most of the infections stemmed from a secular school known as the Jerusalem Gymnasium. 89 pupils and 15 staff members tested positive for the virus. A staff member taught at another school where a pupil also tested positive for the virus and the daughter of another staff member who studied at a third school also tested positive for the virus. All the schools have closed in the meantime and the pupils have been isolated.
However there were also some cases within the Chareidi community. After Telzstone was declared “corona-free”, a Yeshiva student studying there tested positive, although he is not a resident of the town. In another Telzstone Yeshiva, eight students tested positive after one of them who was part of a “capsule”- a closed group of students studying together and apart from the other capsules – contracted the virus from his sister.
In Kiryat Sefer, a second-grade boy tested positive and his classmates were ordered to isolate themselves.
In Ponovezh which only restarted studies last week, a student in one capsule tested positive for coronavirus. His capsule will remain in isolation.