As virus cases soar, health official says stores should have closed last week

A top Health Ministry official says the government should have ordered stores to close last week to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis’s comments in a radio interview come after Israel logged nearly 3,000 new cases on Tuesday, a two-month high.

“The data is clear. We are on our way to ‘tightened restraint’ [the government restrictions to close down commercial activity, which fall short of a lockdown]. We should have started last week. Commerce must be shut down. In the markets, airports and other places, the… rules aren’t being kept,” she tells the Kan public broadcaster.

She also predicts that the effect of vaccination campaign won’t be felt until March.

“Until March, we won’t see a nationwide effect from the vaccines. I believe that people who are afraid will be convinced to get vaccinated. We ordered a lot of shots and there won’t be shortages,” she says.