Health Ministry aims to make Nazareth ‘green’ by Christmas

On Friday, the Health Ministry listed Nazareth as having the second highest number of new infections in the last week.

Nachman Ash visits Nazareth on November 28, 2020 (photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)
Nachman Ash visits Nazareth on November 28, 2020
(photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)
The Health Ministry is hoping to help Nazareth become a green city by Christmas so it can welcome visitors for the holiday, said coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash on Saturday.
He visited Nazareth and the northern Arab village of Yafia on Shabbat. Both areas are considered red zones and are under lockdown.
The commissioner met with the mayors of the two communities: Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam and Yafia Mayor Maher Khaliliya. He also sat with representatives from the Israel Police, the Home Front Command and the city’s hospitals, among other officials.
Ash recommended that gatherings be limited, testing increased, people remain in isolation when required and wear masks to reduce infection. This way, he said, “we can arrive at the holidays with less sick people. Our goal is to have Nazareth green on the holidays.”
He added that, “I hope the city will overcome the crisis and return to being as green as a Christmas tree.” He also emphasized that “lockdown is a tool for reducing morbidity and stopping the spread of coronavirus in cities and is not a punishment.”
Salam said that, “Nazareth is a tourist city, so coronavirus impacts the city from all directions and causes losses on all sides.”
The previous coronavirus commissioner, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, regularly visited Arab and other towns with high morbidity on Saturdays to get a closer look at their situations and provide support.
The Arab sector has been experiencing a spike in morbidity for about a month. Last week, Ash presented information at the coronavirus cabinet meeting that showed nearly half of all new coronavirus cases were Arabs and that 60% of infections in schools were in that community.
On Saturday, the Health Ministry reported that some 275 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Nazareth in the last seven days, bringing the total number of cases to 2,946. It is only second to Jerusalem in number of new diagnoses.
Yafia had 76 new cases in the last week – a total of 694 people with the virus.
Nazareth is expected to remain under lockdown until Tuesday, December 1. Yafia is closed until Thursday, December 3..