Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls for a “responsible, careful and controlled” easing of restrictions despite “clear, consistent” decline in COVID-19 morbidity.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened Thursday’s coronavirus Cabinet meeting by lauding what he called the “major success” of the nationwide lockdown, according to a statement released by his office.

“We are seeing a decline in all data, a clear and consistent decline,” he said, at the start of the meeting convened to determine the details of an exit from the closure that has been in place since Sept.18, the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

“We want to converge on the indicators that the Health Ministry and experts have suggested to us, so that we can begin to gradually ease the current conditions of the lockdown,” Netanyahu explained. “We need to do this so that we do not have an additional lockdown in two or three weeks.”

Therefore, he said, the exit must be “gradual, responsible, careful and controlled.”