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Demands to Close Schools in Israel After Rise in COVID-19 Cases

Demands to Close Schools in Israel After Rise in COVID-19 Cases

Tuesday, 2 June, 2020 - 07:15
Kindergarten teachers and others wear face masks as they protest against the government plan to reopen kindergartens and schools for young children, as the spread of the coronavirus continues, at Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2020. Reuters/ Amir Cohen
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al-Awsat

In light of the recent spike in COVID-19 infections in tens of schools and kindergartens across Israel, and an Education Ministry decision to shutter 17 preschools and schools, Ran Erez, chairman of the Secondary School Teachers Association, demanded the closure of schools across the country.

Erez told 103FM Radio he has demanded that the government move to halt physical studies at school and resume online courses.

He said teachers were now acting as police officers to make sure that students respect the precautionary measures imposed by the government.

However, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Education Minister Yoav Gallant said that only schools with three or more students diagnosed with the virus should be shut down.

“Any school that is found to have an active case of coronavirus will be closed immediately to stop its spread among education institutions, Gallant said.

A report published Monday by the Education Ministry showed that there were 13 new students and teachers diagnosed with coronavirus in the last day and that the number of those in isolation tripled.

According to recent data, thousands of students, teachers, and staff are now quarantined at home for being in the vicinity of an infected person.

On Monday, Israel announced that 206 students and school staff members were confirmed to have contracted the virus in the past week, 70 percent of whom are from Gymnasia Rehavia, the Walla website reported.

In mid-May, the Prime Minister decided that the educational system should return to full operation on in most of the country, after some two months during which Israeli children were ordered to stay home.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel jumped Monday to 16,987, according to the Health Ministry.

It represented 53 new cases over the previous 24 hours, including 33 serious cases.

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