Israel is set to start imposing a curfew in some cities where coronavirus cases have continued to climb.
According to CBN News, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned for the curfews to take effect Monday, but health officials and politicians delayed the curfews.
The curfews will now begin Tuesday at 7 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. the next morning. Forty “red” cities have been identified and will be under the curfew. Those cities include Nazareth, Bnei Brak, Elad and Abu Snan.
Health officials did not say how long the curfews will remain in place. Under the order, nonessential businesses will have to close and people will not be allowed more than 500 yards from their homes.
Meanwhile, mayors of the “red” cities say the curfews target ultra-orthodox communities.
Haredi mayors released a letter Sunday saying that Netanyahu was trying to turn the cities “into disease vectors and enemies of the people.”
Health officials say the country could face a nationwide lockdown if coronavirus infections continue to climb. City leaders are especially concerned as the country will be celebrating the Jewish New Year in less than two weeks.
“I know these measures are not easy, but in the current circumstances, there is no escaping them," Netanyahu said. “We will continue to take responsible steps that are required to protect public health, lives and the economy.”
As of Monday, Israel reported a record 3,392 COVID-19 cases. Since the pandemic started, about 135,000 people have been infected. About 1,026 have died and 106,000 have recovered.
In the spring, Israel gained quick control of the virus, closing the country’s borders, but Netanyahu reopened the country in May and cases have since spiked.
Netanyahu has appointed Dr. Ronni Gamzu, a former Health Ministry director, as the national “coronavirus project manager.” In August, Gamzu established a task force to oversee contact tracing and try to stop the spread of the virus.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/John Theodor
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.