Israel to lock down 30 areas to fight Covid-19

Israel announced Thursday a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world’s highest detected per capita infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000.

From Monday, travel from 30 areas classified as “red” will be limited and non-essential businesses shut down, said Professor Ronni Gamzu, who is coordinating Israel’s battle against Covid-19.

Authorities have unveiled a categorisation of districts, escalating from green, where coronavirus is deemed under control, through yellow, orange, and finally red for highest risk areas.

“We have decided to act immediately to stop the rising” morbidity of the disease, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video, describing the increase as “dramatic”.

The Jewish state detected over 3,000 new infections on Wednesday alone, the highest number of confirmed infections in a single day.

The 30 areas in the red category will be announced by Sunday, according to authorities.

“We have taken the decision to lock down ‘red’ towns, from where infection is spreading,” Netanyahu said.

The defence ministry said around 100 soldiers would be deployed to back up police as they enforce measures in red zones.

Some 7,000 reservists would also be mobilised across Israel, it added.

Israel’s quick decisions in March to curb travel and impose a lockdown brought the daily case-count to a trickle by early May.

But an economic re-opening since late April has led to an explosion in transmissions in the country.

Israel has detected 123,903 cases of Covid-19 and recorded 985 deaths, out of a population of nine million people. (AFP)

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