Israel cabinet tightens coronavirus lockdown as infections rise, YNet says


A nurse provides medical care for a patient at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ward amid a surge in new cases that has forced Israel into a second nationwide lockdown, at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), Tel Aviv, Israel September 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet decided on Thursday to tighten Israel’s coronavirus lockdown after he voiced alarm that a surge in infections was pushing the nation to “the edge of the abyss”, the YNet news site said.

Israel went back into lockdown, its second during the pandemic, on Sept. 18. But over the past week, the number of daily new cases has reached nearly 7,000 among a population of 9 million, severely straining the resources of some hospitals.

Revised edicts that take effect on Friday allow fewer businesses to operate and impose further curbs on travel, YNet said, after cabinet discussions that stretched from Wednesday to end early on Thursday.

“In the past two days, we heard from the experts that if we don’t take immediate and difficult steps, we will reach the edge of the abyss,” Netanyahu said in public remarks to the cabinet.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Clarence Fernandez



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