New lockdowns as corona infections soar in Israel

Almost a thousand new cases in past 24 hours as neighborhoods locked down in several Israeli cities in effort to stop exploding infection rate.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Closures were imposed on neighborhoods in several cities across Israel Thursday as the government tried to stop an explosion of new coronavirus infections.

The Ministry of Health ordered lockdowns of several neighborhoods in the port city of Ashdod and the railway hub of Lod due to soaring infection rates there, with residents restricted to their homes except in specific cases of urgency.

In the 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday another 966 Israelis were confirmed to be infected with coronavirus, bringing the total number of active cases in the country to 8647 – more than four times the number of people who were sick with the virus a month ago.

In the past two weeks hospitalizations have doubled, and of the 270 coronavirus patients being treated in hospitals, 58 are in serious condition and 24 of those patients are connected to ventilators. Israel’s virus death toll rose by one overnight to 324.

“For more than a month, the trend of the coronavirus in Israel has been on the rise … with a doubling rate of less than 10 days,” the Health Ministry said in a statement released on their Telegram channel.” Therefore, significant measures are required at this time including declaring areas as “restricted areas”, while taking additional measures throughout the state.”

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The raging rate of infections in Israel comes as the same phenomenon is causing havoc in America, where heavily affected states like California, Arizona and Texas were rolling back openings after the U.S. recorded the highest number of infections in a single day with over 50,000 new cases.

The “corona cabinet” of ministers directly related to the pandemic crisis was scheduled to meet Thursday morning to discuss additional measures.

“We will prepare for the possibility of opening city control centers by the Home Front Command, reinforcing more coronavirus hotels and other steps we may need in the coming days,” Defense Minister Gantz tweeted late Wednesday.

With Israel’s tourism industry paralyzed by the pandemic, the government has been using several hotels as quarantine centers for thousands of Israelis who are infected, but do not require hospitalization.