Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the most stringent restrictions yet to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Israel. Movement between cities as well as some neighborhoods in Jerusalem will be halted from Tuesday 4pm until Friday 7am. On the first night of Passover, traditionally when extended Jewish families gather for the festive Seder meal, there will be a curfew and nobody will be allowed to leave their homes from 6pm Wednesday evening until 7am Thursday morning. The aim is to ensure that there are only the smallest nuclear family gatherings for the Seder.
Netanyahu said that these restrictions were a "matter of life and death." He added, "The virus is running wild in New York and we see hundreds of dead every day in Europe. The situation is much better here and there is a trend of improvement. But we won't let Passover become Purim (when the virus started spreading)."
He added, "There are positive signs on the horizon but we cannot be complacent. We can start easing restrictions and opening up the economy after Passover and Mimouna but it depends on all of us."
The move comes as the number of Israelis who have tested positive for Covid-19 continues to rise steadily. 8,904 Israelis have been diagnosed with the virus, up from 8,611 this morning, the Ministry of Health reports. 140 people are severely ill with 109 of them on ventilators and 197 people are moderately ill, while the rest have mild symptoms. There have been 57 fatalities, up from 51 this morning, and 670 people have fully recovered.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 6, 2020
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