On Thursday, October 15, Israel approved some easing of its tight coronavirus restrictions, imposed during a monthlong nationwide lockdown that was meant to drive down a raging coronavirus outbreak, Associated Press News reports.
The country's coronavirus Cabinet voted to resume daycare and pre-school for children up to six years old, allow some businesses — those without walk-in customers — to reopen, and cancel a 1,000 meter (yard) restriction on movement. Those limits are set to be lifted on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned that the easing of further restrictions was contingent on numbers of new virus cases continuing to drop.
"We must get out (of the lockdown) in a gradual and responsible way. Carefully. Otherwise we will find ourselves within a short time in a third lockdown," Netanyahu said in a speech to parliament after the vote.
Israel imposed a second nationwide lockdown on Sept. 18 as the country was seeing surging case numbers, shutting down schools, restaurants and hotels, among other businesses, and at the time it had one of the world’s worst outbreaks, measured for its population of 9 million people. The lockdown pushed infections down from highs of 9,000 new virus cases a day to around 2,000 new infections.
The worst outbreaks have been in areas populated by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who tend to live in crowded communities and have large families, settings that can precipitate infection.
As we reported earlier, in Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, an experiment was conducted to treat patients with COVID-19 using biological cells taken from healthy people.
The test on "covid" patients was carried out with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Health. The experiment involved five seriously ill patients, two of whom were already in critical condition.
The drug, called Alostra, was developed on the basis of research by the head of the department of internal medicine and the head of the red zone of Hadassah, Professor Dror Mevrurah, in conjunction with the biotechnology company Analybex Therapeutics.