Israel becomes the first country to impose a second, nationwide lockdown

Magen David Adom workers wear protective clothing outside of the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on Sept. 14 2020

Israelis continue protests over Netanyahu alleged corruption, Covid-19 response

The public sector will operate with fewer staff, but non-governmental offices and businesses will not have to close, as long as they do not accept customers.

According to Health Ministry data, as of Monday afternoon, there were 156,823 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel, among those 40,561 active; 529 patients were in serious condition and 214 in moderate condition; 135 on ventilators; and a national death toll of 1,126. Now, talking about corona infection, Israel's population is 9 million, i.e., 90 lakh.

"Our goal is to stop the increase and lower morbidity". "I know that these steps come at a hard price for all of us".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night announced that schools, restaurants, shopping centres and hotels would shut on Friday for the next three weeks following a surge in Covid-19 infections.

The announcement comes despite pushback from part of the ultra-Orthodox contingent in government over enforcing a lockdown during the holidays. "This is not the holiday we are used to".

In remarks to the cabinet as it convened to vote on the lockdown, Netanyahu voiced regret at Litzman's move but added: "We have to move on, to make the decisions necessary for Israel in the coronavirus era, and that is what we will do in this session". While lauded for his decisive response following the spring outbreak, Netanyahu appeared distracted by politics and personal matters, including his trial for corruption allegations, as infections rose over the summer.

Netanyahu, who has faced increasing criticism over his handling of the coronavirus crisis, said the finance minister has been asked to come up with a new economic package to assist businesses hit by the lockdown.

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, takes place on September 27 and Israelis typically hold large family gatherings and go to synagogues for prayers.

At the time, the country was praised for its swift recovery from the first wave of the virus.

Some government ministers meanwhile have pointed fingers at what they've called an undisciplined public, who they have accused of violating restrictions against public gatherings and mask wearing. The information was given by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself.

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