In Brief: Israeli cabinet approves full national lockdown

Photo: Israel Police, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Knesset’s coronavirus cabinet has agreed to a three-week national lockdown in Israel as cases continue to spike. The decision came ahead of the Jewish high holy days while Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya is said to be overwhelmed and turning away new covid-19 patients. On Sunday, Haredi Minister Yaakov Litzman resigned from cabinet, telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he warned against coronavirus czar Professor Ronni Gamzu’s intention to ‘impose a full closure on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur which will prevent hundreds of thousands of Jews from all communities and sectors from praying in synagogues’. Worshipers will be able to attend Synagogues but kept in a small number of ‘pods’, the amount of which will depend on the number of exits. Higher outbreak areas, known as ‘red’ zones, will allow fewer in attendance. The new lockdown will also result in closed beaches and restaurants only serving takeaway, however individual sports will continue without social distances as the premier league will go ahead crowd free. The Ben-Gurion International Airport will remain open. Arab Knesset member and Joint List faction chairman, Ahmad Tibi, was ordered into quarantine after an aide tested positive for coronavirus. Haaretz has reported on data presented to cabinet revealing the main pre-existing conditions associated Israel’s coronavirus deaths. 42 percent of Israelis who died of the virus had high blood pressure (433 people), 29 percent had diabetes (296 people) and 27 percent had heart disease (27 people). Israel currently has 40,689 active cases and 1,141 deaths. In the West Bank, there are 9,845 active cases with 1,807 in Gaza. Across the West Bank and Gaza 240 people have died.
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