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Coronavirus in Israel: Israel Eases Third Lockdown Posted by on Feb 9, 2021 in Today's Israel

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It’s been a year since the coronavirus arrived in Israel in February 2020. Since then Israel imposed three full nationwide lockdowns. A third lockdown on Israel started on December 2020. הַנִּצָּחוֹן עַל הַמַּגֵּפָה בְּמֶרְחָק נְגִיעָה (victory over the pandemic is within reach), announced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to the deal with Pfizer for enough vaccine to inoculate all of Israel’s population over 16 by the end of March. דָּרוּשׁ מַאֲמָץ אַחֲרוֹן שֶׁל כֻּלָּם (we should all put on last effort), he added hours before Israel was set to tighten its current lockdown.

Couple of days later, a big batch of coronavirus vaccine landed in Israel. Netanyahu welcomed the airplane in the airport, and talked about increasing the daily vaccination rate, and providing financial grants. הַשָּׁנָה יִהֲיֶה לָנוּ פֶּסַח שָׂמֵחַ בֶּאֱמֶת (this year we will have a really happy Passover), he announced. That evening, Netanyahu addressed the public. He mentioned the agreement with Pfizer and the vaccine campaign that will allow reopening of the workplaces, restaurants, synagogues, and culture events. He even promised: in the coming Passover Eve we will be able to sit around the table with grandma and grandpa, dad and mom, kids and grandsons.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been surging in Israel since then. During the lockdown, on January 24, fearing the pandemic mutations, Israel even shut down its main international airport. But despite an extensive vaccination campaign, a third lockdown, and closed skies, the country continues to grapple with thousands of daily new cases. Almost nine thousand new cases were confirmed on February first, ten days after the lockdown was extended for the first time. כֹּל יוֺם קוֺבֵעַ, כֹּל יום שֶׁל סֶגֶר הוּא פָּשׁוּט הַצָּלַת נְפָשׁוֹת, (everyday matters, every day of lockdown is simply saving lives) said Netanyahu, and extended the national lockdown again.

A month after Israel’s new agreement with Pfizer, Israel’s third lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 was eased on February 7. After six weeks of lockdown, more than 2 million people who already got vaccinated with a second dose, Israel still doesn’t have the COVID-19 pandemic under control. With 200,000 new cases who were confirmed since tightening of the lockdown restrictions, 1,500 more deaths, a large population of children under age 16 who can’t get vaccinated, and no certainty about whether an immunized person is still contagious; Israelis don’t know yet if a Passover family celebration will be allowed.

Meanwhile, after six weeks of lockdown, these are the restrictions that have been first lifted:

Schools and commerce remain close.

Text vocabulary

Pandemic = מַגֵּפָה

Pandemics = מַגֵּפוֺת

Effort = מַאֲמָץ

Efforts = מַאֲמָצׅים

Lockdown = סֶגֶר

Lockdowns = סְגָרׅים

Third = שְׁלִישִׁי

Within reach, very close = מֶרְחָק נְגִיעָה

Restriction = הַגְבָּלָה

Restrictions = הַגְבָּלוֺת

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