Global Statistics

All countries
525,903,432
Confirmed
Updated on May 20, 2022 3:32 am
All countries
481,532,951
Recovered
Updated on May 20, 2022 3:32 am
All countries
6,297,090
Deaths
Updated on May 20, 2022 3:32 am

COVID-19 Global Statistics

All countries
525,903,432
Confirmed
Updated on May 20, 2022 3:32 am
All countries
481,532,951
Recovered
Updated on May 20, 2022 3:32 am
All countries
6,297,090
Deaths
Updated on May 20, 2022 3:32 am

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Passover coronavirus curfew takes effect in communities throughout Israel

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A government-mandated curfew took effect in Israel on Wednesday afternoon, confining Israelis to their homes for the first night of the Passover holiday.

Under the curfew, which began at 3 p.m. and will end Thursday at 7 a.m., Israelis are barred from traveling more than 100 meters from their homes and all businesses must close.

As 3 p.m. approached, some supermarkets began closing their doors before the curfew took effect to allow their employees to get home in time. Television footage showed other stores continued to have long lines, as Israelis sought to make last-minute purchases.

Despite the curfew taking effect, there was a long line of cars on Route 1 as police questioned drivers heading toward Jerusalem.

Israeli border police officers wearing face mask gather after dispersing ultra-Orthodox Jewish children burning leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Jerusalem authorities have said they will gather the bread and burn it in a big bonfire in one location to avoid large gatherings. But, some in the Mea Shearim neighbourhood shunned the orders. Many of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, have ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

To enforce the curfew, thousands of police officers were deployed throughout the country, along with some 1,400 IDF soldiers to help assure Israelis were adhering to the restrictions.

“In practice, the police will nearly be deployed to its largest possible extent,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the Ynet news site.

He said police would deploy helicopters and drones to ensure Israelis remain at home and that more controversial technologies such as tracking people’s phones to ensure crowds aren’t gathering would also be used.

Erdan rejected the characterization of the stricter lockdown as a curfew, saying instead they were “significant” restrictions meant to save people’s lives.

“The main thing that we’re trying to prevent is the holding of seders or joint events,” he said. “We paid the price of high morbidity after the Purim meals.”

The curfew comes after a general lockdown took effect Tuesday evening, confining Israelis to the communities in which they live.

The empty Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv on April 08, 2020. All intercity travel has been banned until Friday morning. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** כביש סגר תל אביב איילון

From Thursday morning until Friday, Israelis will again be permitted to move within their cities and towns for essential needs, but will not be allowed to leave city limits. Exceptions will be made for those who do not have supermarkets and pharmacies in their towns, but they may go only to the nearest town with those services.

Jerusalem residents will be confined throughout the lockdown and curfew within the city zone they live in, after government officials sketched out a division of the city — which has the largest number of virus cases in the country — into seven portions.

Public transportation throughout the country ceased on Tuesday evening and will not resume until Sunday morning. The government also canceled all international flights from Tuesday night through Sunday, unless the airlines receive special permission from the transportation and interior ministries.

An Ultra-Orthodox Jew prays a morning prayer at his house, during a lockdown following the government’s measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in Bnei Brak, Israel, Wednesday, April 8, 2020.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday a complete lockdown over the upcoming Passover feast to control the country’s coronavirus outbreak, but offered citizens some hope by saying he expects to lift widespread restrictions after the week-long Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The curfew measure will not extend to Arab towns, where Passover is not celebrated.

The measures are designed to keep Israelis from attempting to spend the festive Passover Seder meal on Wednesday night with relatives or others, which officials fear could lead to a fresh wave of infections and push Israel backwards just as initial signs of recovery have started to emerge.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 72 Israelis have died from the virus, which has infected over 9,400 people.

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