Coronavirus: Israel approves strengthened lockdown

In effect starting Friday through end of Jewish holidays

24 September, 16:57

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, SEPTEMBER 24 - The Israeli government on Wednesday night approved a stricter lockdown that will go into effect starting Friday and stay in place through October 11, the end of the Jewish holidays. The measure includes the closure of non-essential services, a block on demonstrations more than one kilometre from one's home, and limited to a maximum of 20 people. Synagogues will be operational only for Yom Kippur ceremonies and there will also be interventions in the air travel sector. The decision came following a long meeting in which there were deep disagreements between the cabinet ministers for the fight against the coronavirus, above all on the thorny question of the closure of places of worship and restrictions on demonstrations. According to the media, Commissioner Ronni Gamzu advocated lighter interventions than those decided upon by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu for fear of strong repercussions on the economy. Now the Knesset must approve the package of measures. Based on the interventions, which will be detailed in the morning, only supermarkets, pharmacies, and some essential industries will remain open. For demonstrations, restrictions both on location as well as the number of people passed. This topic was strongly brought forward by Netanyahu's Likud party. Regarding religious functions, an issue that religious parties strongly defended, synagogues will close starting Friday but will be able to open on Yom Kippur and with a limited number of people. Ben Gurion Airport will stay closed to departing flights until the end of the Jewish holidays. Restaurants will remain open for home delivery only.

    In the past 24 hours, the country registered 6,808 new Covid-19 infections, the second consecutive day that infections reached nearly 7,000 out of 52,839 tests, with a 12.9% morbidity rate. There are currently 667 serious cases with 164 patients on ventilators. A total of 1,335 people have died since the start of the pandemic. The Weitzman Institute, one of the most widely respected in the country and worldwide, calculated that while there were about 16,000 infections during the first wave in March, there have been 17,000 infections in just the past four days in this second wave. To help the increasingly overcrowded hospitals, additional paramedic personnel have been hired.(ANSAmed). (ANSA).

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