Israel urges caution ahead of Jewish New Year holiday

Jerusalem, Sep 5 (EFE), In hopes to overcome a fourth wave of the coronavirus amid a recent downward trend in Covid-19 cases, Israeli authorities have urged caution ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year holiday.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday said the new government’s “soft suppression,” a strategy focusing on keeping restrictive measures to a minimum,  looked to be successful.

Rosh Hashanah, which is one of the most important holidays for Jewish people, starts Monday evening and will last two days.

Unlike last year, when it took place in the middle of a lockdown, the upcoming holiday will not be subject to many restrictions. The authorities have limited private indoor gatherings to 50 people and outdoor to 100.

In recent months and despite a resurgence of infections, the coalition government has adopted a strategy to contain the spread of the virus by administering a third booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while avoiding measures that would damage the economy.

Bennett, however, reiterated that the virus has not yet disappeared, urging Israelis to stick to face masks and social distancing in the coming weeks.

Israel has seen three record daily highs this week, with the number of infections exceeding 11,000 a day. The country registered its lowest rate in two weeks though on Sunday, according to the Ynet news website.

Experts say the current wave of infections is showing signs of slowing down and that the third booster dose, already given to over 2.5 million Israelis, is starting to pay off.

“I expect that the effect of the vaccines will outweigh the effect of the start of the school year and we will see a decrease in morbidity in the coming days,” Nachman Ash, director of the ministry of health, told a local radio Sunday.

But he still urged caution to prevent infection spread.

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