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Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus: Israel curbs Covid-19 contagion zones, health chiefs self-isolate

Filed on September 8, 2020
israel, curfews, towns, coronavirus, covid-19
Israeli border police officers manage traffic on a street near a roadblock during enforcement of a government decision to impose nightly curfews in dozens of towns and neighbourhoods to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Jerusalem September 8, 2020


Some government officials have called for a nationwide lockdown if the partial measures fail.

Israel on Tuesday began a week-long campaign of night curfews and school closures in dozens of towns and neighbourhoods with high coronavirus counts, hoping it will help stem a spike in cases.

Most of the 40 zones subject to the partial lockdowns are identified with Israeli Arabs or ultra-Orthodox Jews, minorities where crowding has helped spread the pandemic.

Israel, with a population of 9 million, has recorded 135,288 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,031 deaths. The discovery that a worker at a Health Ministry project for combating the virus had contracted it prompted senior staff who had been exposed to him to self-isolate as a precaution.

These included the health minister, deputy health minister, the ministry's director-general, chief of staff and legal counsel, as well as two advisers and Israel's coronavirus commissioner, the ministry said.

Some government officials have called for a nationwide lockdown if the partial measures fail. That could disrupt celebrations of the Jewish high holy days, which run from September 18 to October 10.

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