by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 25 March 2020 | As the casualty count escalates in Israel, the government is ramping up its restrictions on the public in a desperate attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. The virus has claimed five lives so far, and 2,170 people are infected, according to the Health Ministry.
For the next seven days, Israel will enter into a new level of lockdown under the Health Ministry’s guidelines.
Israelis will not be permitted to walk more than 100 meters (328 ft) from their homes unless on a necessary errand, including shopping for food or medical supplies, going to work (for those still approved to work), getting medical treatment and other essential needs.
Public transportation will be reduced to 25%, and taxi rides are only allowed for one passenger, providing for an escort if it is a medical emergency.
The government has already ordered employers to send more than 70% of their workforce home to work remotely or on leave. Under the new restrictions, employers are required to take the temperature of any employees coming in to work and must send home anyone with a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher. All workers must maintain strict hygiene and a 2-meter (6.5-ft) distance.
All nonessential businesses have already been shut down, including malls, shops, cafes, theaters, gyms, parks, beaches and other places of leisure. Any remaining open restaurants are now only allowed to offer delivery services. Deliveries for online orders can also continue but must be left outside of residences.
Synagogues are also being shut down, the Times of Israel reported, after several violations in the ultra-Orthodox sector of the Health Ministry’s regulations.
Two more people died on Tuesday and another two on Wednesday, in addition to 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Aryeh Even, who passed away on Friday, becoming Israel’s first casualty. One of Tuesday’s victims was an 87-year-old man who was a resident of the same assisted living facility in Jerusalem that Even lived in.
Most of Israel’s victims have been in their 70s and 80s with serious preexisting conditions, except for a 67-year-old woman who passed away today south of Tel Aviv. She too had been weakened after a battle with cancer years ago, the Times of Israel reported.
The COVID-19 virus is dangerous for the elderly and those with weakened immune systems and preexisting conditions. Younger people often—but not always—display milder symptoms and sometimes no symptoms at all. The Health Ministry has urged Israel’s elderly to remain in isolation.
The virus continues to stretch across the globe. More than 375,000 people across 195 countries and territories have been infected, according to the World Health Organization, with over 16,000 reported deaths. The countries with the most reported cases are China, Italy, the US, Spain, Germany, Iran, France, South Korea, Switzerland and the UK.
Posted on March 25, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 25, 2020)
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