Israel contemplates more full lockdowns in its cities as coronavirus cases exceed 8,000

Infections in Bnei Brak, which was sealed off on Friday, are almost as high as Jerusalem



More than 8,000 Israelis have now contracted coronavirus as authorities consider closing off more cities in an effort to mitigate its spread.

A further 182 cases were confirmed on Saturday with the biggest increase in Jerusalem, where 1,311 people have the virus.

But there were almost as many cases — 1,218 — in Bnei Brak, a city five times smaller than Jerusalem.

The city, which is densely populated and home mostly to Strictly Orthodox residents, was sealed off by authorities on Friday.

As of Sunday morning, 44 people in Israel have died of coronavirus.

With three days remaining until Passover, Israeli police are planning to intensify their enforcement of the country’s lockdown, with checkpoints on main roads and on city exits in place.

Authorities are also considering sealing off other Strictly Orthodox neighbourhoods in Israel, including in Beit Shemesh, Tiberias, Migdal Haemek and Ashkelon, Haaretz reported.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced emergency regulations in the West Bank will remain in place for a further 30 days.

There are fears that the estimated 45,000 Palestinians employed in Israel, who will return home to the West Bank during Passover, will accelerate the spread of the virus.

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