COVID-19 Night Curfew Imposed on 40 Cities, Towns, Neighborhoods
A nighttime curfew was imposed on Tuesday evening on 40 “red” cities, towns and neighborhoods across Israel in an attempt to stem the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and possibly as a prelude to a full lockdown on the country.
The ministerial committee on declaring restricted zones on Tuesday approved the recommendation of the Health Ministry and Corona project director Prof. Ronni Gamzu to impose night curfews on areas with high morbidity from 19:00 until 5:00, for the coming week.
The education institutions in these areas were likewise closed, except for special education.
“The decision was made upon the conclusion of an orderly consultative process will all of the local authorities in which there is high morbidity, by senior Health Ministry officials and Gamzu,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.
The majority of sites under curfew are either Arab or Ultra-Orthodox towns.
The measures were introduced after several postponements, and the initial restrictions introduced were scaled back significantly due to political pressure.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday visited the Municipality of Beit Shemesh, one of the cities placed under nighttime curfew.
“I am certain that we will successfully overcome the coronavirus. Together we will win. There are many problems and there are many more questions. There will be many more challenges. I ask that our directives be followed because that is the only way we will win the war. There is no other way,” he stated.
Experts warn that the current restrictions are not sufficient and that a full closure will be required to stem the spread of the virus, especially ahead of the Jewish High Holidays that will commence in two weeks.
Ultimately, the government has yet to decide on how to address the pandemic in a comprehensive and successful manner, and the various ministries are offering and promoting different, and at times, contradicting moves.
The latest idea on the table is to shut down the school system completely for the duration of the High Holidays for a period of about four weeks. The concept behind this proposal is that the school system serves as a hotbed for infections, and therefore should be closed so that students don’t bring the virus home and infect their extended families during the holiday celebrations.
The government is expected to discuss its moves on Thursday.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health updated Tuesday evening that it documented 3,496 cases in the past 24 hours, one of the highest numbers of daily infections since the outbreak began.
According to the data, 458 patients are hospitalized in serious condition, of whom 138are on life support.
Of a total of 138,739 cases since the outbreak began, 107,003 have recovered and 1,040 Corona patients have died from the virus.
Israel has the highest morbidity rate per million citizens in the world.