Photo Credit: Courtesy, Tomer Reichman
Presidential residence cleansed following coronavirus scare

Israel’s Health Ministry is compiling a list of dozens of cities, towns and villages in which it is intending to urge the government to impose a lockdown due to the exponential rise in cases of COVID-19, according to a report broadcast Tuesday evening by Channel 12 News.

At present, “red zones” still allow residents to leave their homes and when necessary, to enter or leave the restricted areas when need be for specific purposes.

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However, the new upcoming lockdowns expected to be recommended by the Health Ministry are expected to be much tougher and tighter, although they will also be far narrower than were those during the first wave of the virus – focusing in on small neighborhoods or several streets, most likely.

Some of the areas under consideration according to the report include sections of Ashdod, Dimona, Kiryat Gat and Ramle.

These new restrictions – which are expected to be in force for a while – must be approved by the Knesset House Committee, according to the report.

Israel’s Current Coronavirus Statistics
The ministry announced Tuesday evening there were 469 new cases of the novel coronavirus diagnosed since midnight – meaning, in a scant 18-hour period.

After publication of the statistics, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an urgent telephone meeting with other ministers and health officials, who decided to increase the number of towns and neighborhoods to be declared “restricted” over the high rate of infection at those locations.

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Israel has meanwhile reached 7,403, a figure that includes 232 Israelis who are hospitalized, 52 who are in very serious condition, of whom 24 require ventilator support, as well as 61 who are in fair, or “moderate” condition.

The death toll remains at 320.

A total of 25,041 Israelis have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

On the bright side, at least 17,318 Israelis have recovered from the virus.

On Monday, nearly 20,000 coronavirus tests were administered to the population (19,922) as the government works to find out who has already had the virus, who currently has it, and who is still at risk.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.