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Israel locks down over virus spike

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 9/18/20, 03:57 pm

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, began Friday evening, but Israelis had to forgo the usual large prayer services and family visits. To tamp down on increasing COVID-19 cases, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday ordered a three-week shutdown restricting people to within 1 kilometer of their homes unless on essential business. Anti-lockdown protesters marched through the coastal city of Tel Aviv on Thursday.

How bad is the outbreak? Israel implemented tight restrictions early in the pandemic and only recorded about 100 daily COVID-19 cases during May and June. But the country’s daily new case count now tops 5,000, one of the highest per-capita rates in the world. “It could be that we will have no choice but to make the directives more stringent,” Netanyahu said.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Mindy Belz’s report on Israel’s early battle against the coronavirus.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a WORLD Digital news reporter. He is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Kyle resides in Purcellville, Va. Follow him on Twitter @kylezim25.

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  • Nanamiro
    Posted: Sat, 09/19/2020 06:52 pm

    What percentage are dying or ending up in the hospital? Why is that so rarely mentioned in Covid "news"? That is the relevent information I would think.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Sun, 09/20/2020 05:06 am

    That was exactly what I was wondering. Are these people actually sick or just positive tests? And if sick how sick (since we know most people have mild to moderate symptoms)  and of course how many deaths? Are we really dealing with something that requires more of a lockdown there? Because if they do it we will see it here as well.

  • JM
    Posted: Sun, 09/20/2020 09:21 am

          Politics has driven the government to cancel the High Holy Days for a nation which was founded to allow free practice of Judaism. Those three weeks contain the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. The spiritually and socially most important three weeks of the Jewish calendar. It will be interesting how they enforce visits to Jerusalem, which are required in the Law of Moses.

          This compares to canceling the NFL season and Superbowl. You may not like my choice of comparison, but check the statistics before you take aim at the messenger. (Has your church had Superbowl parties?) The big difference is that Netanyahu is not running for reelection in the middle of the season.