JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In the wake of the steep rise in authenticated cases of COVID-19 in Israel, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein declared Wednesday that unless there is a miracle, Israel is on the way to a second total lockdown.

Edelstein set 2000 infections per day as the maximum point at which Israel will have to initiate a renewed lockdown. The past day saw an unprecedented 1,718 positive diagnoses and Edelstein is pessimistic:

“What we are looking at is a synthesis of factors. If we reach 2000 new cases a day and a continuation of the worrying increase in seriously ill patients and patients on respirators, as hospitals inform us that they are stopping elective surgeries- then we will have to come to harsh consequences,” Edelstein told Ynet.

Edelstein criticized fellow Likudnik Yifat Shasha-Biton, the director of the Knesset’s corona committee, for allowing the opening of fitness rooms and swimming pools in contrast to the government’s position on the matter. “In the situation created after all the vigorous activity for the ‘good’ of the public, I don’t say any other option besides a lockdown,” he said.

“What else can we do? Unless there is a miracle and we see a slowing in the rate of infection and then we can give it some more time. Maybe we will see the results of closing wedding halls and restricting public gatherings and then we will postpone the decision on a lockdown by a few days. We’ll wait three or four days to see if there will be any effect but it would be a miracle.”

On Tuesday night Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz blocked recommendations by the National Security Council to impose further restrictions on Israelis. The council called for restricting gatherings to ten people, closing all shuls and yeshivas, transferring restaurants to takeaway mode, closing all fitness rooms and swimming pools including those in hotels, closing beaches, transferring summer camps to capsule mode and other restrictions.

Gantz said that it would not be right to impose new restrictions before the two weeks of the previous restrictions had passed and their effect has been assessed. However Edelstein insisted that “the steps taken so far were not enough and we need to take decisions on new restrictions.”

Science Minister Yizhar Shay suggested that the new restrictions should not harm people’s livelihoods and should be implemented at nights and on weekends when people are free. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Gantz said that the suggestion is worthy and should be investigated.