Israel’s government ministers on Tuesday evening unanimously approved the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to extend the current tightened lockdown until January 31.

The lockdown was set to expire on Thursday but in light of the continuously soaring infection rate and the high number of seriously ill patients in Israel’s strained hospitals, the decision to extend the closure faced almost no opposition.

The ministers also approved a regulation requiring travelers entering Israel to present a negative coronavirus test from within 72 hours of their flight.

As the number of hospitalized virus patients grows, all hospitals in Jerusalem have been referring patients to the center of the country due to a lack of room in their virus wards.

“We find ourselves in the middle of a close race between the vaccination campaign and the rising morbidity in the world because of the mutations,” Netanyahu said during the meeting.

“We must continue to make the right decisions for the citizens of Israel. We need to decide immediately on a further extension of the current lockdown. It may not be popular, nor is it convenient during the election period, but it’s what we need to choose today and I expect everyone to support it.”

Source: (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)