Sept 14, 2020
The Israeli government will impose a three-week nationwide Covid-19 lockdown starting on Friday following a recent drastic surge of up to 4,000 new cases per day.
The country, which has the second highest infection rate per capita after Bahrain would be the first developed economy to take such a drastic measure in handling a Covid-19 second wave.
Israel, with a population of nine million, has recorded 155,604 Covid-19 cases, including 1,119 deaths.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised statement that the lockdown could be extended if necessary.
“I know these measures will exact a heavy price from all of us,” he said.
Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party yesterday resigned in protest of the lockdown’s timing, which he said was an insult to Jews.
The lockdown is set to begin hours before the start of the Jewish New Year and the High Holidays, which also include the Day of Atonement and Sukkot.
Meanwhile, demonstrators rallied in Tel Aviv yesterday demanding Netanyahu’s resignation over his alleged corruption and failure to manage the Covid-19 crisis.
They blamed the recent surge in number of cases to the government’s decision of prematurely allowing the reopening of businesses and providing insufficient financial measures for the people.