Coronavirus Cases in Israel Surge Past 1,200 as Thousands Are Tested in a Day

As the highly contagious coronavirus spreads around the world, Israel and the Palestinians struggle to contain a local outbreak that has virtually halted daily life and led to tens of thousands of people entering quarantine.

■ 1,238 Israelis have so far tested positive for the coronavirus, with the vast majority of cases mild and 37 recoveries. One patient has died and 24 are in serious condition

■ In the West Bank, 57 cases have been diagnosed so far, and 17 have recovered, the majority of them in Bethlehem. The Palestinian prime minister ordered a lockdown as of Sunday night 

■ In Gaza, two cases were diagnosed in patients who returned from Pakistan

■ Israel's government approved emergency measures to limit movement of citizens and trade, shuttering cultural and recreational establishments as well as schools and universities and banning gatherings of over 10 people. Read the complete guide to the lockdown

■ All foreigners are not allowed to enter Israel, unless they apply for special permits from the Foreign Ministry in advance and can prove they are able to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. Read the full guide for tourists and Israelis

■ Click here for more information on the Health Ministry's official website on the corovavirus outbreak

– Netanyahu’s corona smokescreen and Gaza’s ‘God-help-us’ moment

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 70Haaretz


12:19 P.M. Iran's death toll from coronavirus climbs to 1,812 with 127 new deaths

Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus has increased to 1,812, with 127 new deaths in the past 24 hours, a health ministry spokesman told state TV on Monday, adding that the country's total number of infected people has reached 23,049.

Kianush Jahanpur said that in the past 24 hours, some 1,411 Iranians had been infected with the virus across the Islamic Republic, which has the worst outbreak in the Middle East. (Reuters) 

12:01 P.M. McDonald's closes most Israel branches

McDonald's announced Monday that due to the coronavirus it is shuttering the vast majority of its branches in Israel – 181 outlets – except for five branches which will operate under limitations. The five open branches, it said in a statement, "will deliver free food to hospitals, medical teams and security forces." (Hadar Kane)  

11:39 A.M. Netflix to reduce quality of streams in Israel to help ISPs

Netflix will comply with a government request to reduce stream quality in Israel to help ease data congestion from people staying home due to the coronavirus, the Communications Ministry said on Monday.

The world's largest streaming media service has also cut traffic on networks in Europe to help internet service providers (ISPs) experiencing a surge in usage.

Israeli ISPs have reported an average increase of as much as 30% since the outbreak began, prompting the telecoms regulator to ask Netflix to lower broadcasting bit rates.