PM Expands Green Classroom Plan Amidst Dropping Numbers

On Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave authorization for expanding the Green Classroom pilot program, which is aimed at reducing the quarantine time for students who are exposed to confirmed coronavirus cases. Under this pilot program, students who are exposed to a confirmed virus carrier can return to school after they get a negative PCR test result. The entire class would no longer be required to have to quarantine for a week, as per the older rules. Currently, this program is only being implemented from Grade 1 to Grade 12, but will now be expanded to include daycares as well.

According to a statement by the government, the Green Classroom plan would also be put into effect in every city that’s categorized as yellow and green. However, the program still limits the students who are exposed to COVID-19 carriers from interacting with other students in afterschool hours. They are also not permitted to attend any events for which a Green Pass would be required. This expansion of the program will be put into effect from October 24th, Sunday. The statement said that the Education and Health ministries would also come up with a separate plan for orange and red cities and would submit it soon. 

This decision came after a meeting with top education and health officials and also taking into account the fact that the coronavirus numbers have dropped significantly in Israel in recent weeks. Nonetheless, Israel did achieve a rather grim milestone when the death toll from the virus surpassed the 8,000 mark on Monday. The toll was around 8,010, with 11 more fatalities reported by the Health Ministry since Monday morning. During this most recent fourth wave of the coronavirus, there has been a marked increase in the number of deaths in Israel due to the disease, particularly as compared to the mortality rate just before the spread of the contagious Delta variant.

However, it is worth nothing that the mortality rate is still lower than what it was in previous waves, before the mass vaccination campaign was put into effect. The milestone on Monday came after the death toll went beyond the 7,000 mark in August. Recent weeks have seen the number of fatalities go down in the country, as it appears the fourth wave of COVID-19 that had gripped Israel is now waning. According to the Worth Health Organization, a total of 4.9 million people have died from COVID-19 globally. 

The Health Ministry disclosed that 1,004 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Israel since midnight on Sunday, with active cases at 17,536 on Monday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been a total of 1.3 million infections. There was a fall in serious cases further to the figure of 357. At least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 6.2 million people in Israel and two doses have been given to around 5.7 million. The third booster shot has been administered to more than 3.8 million people in the country. 

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