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.
■ 5,591 Israelis have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; Twenty-one have died, 97 are in serious condition and 76 are on ventilators. One Israeli tourist died in Italy.
■ In the West Bank, 122 cases have been diagnosed so far. One woman in her 60s died. In Gaza, 12 cases were diagnosed, the first two after returning from Pakistan.
■ Israel's government intensified restrictions on movement, banning public gatherings, including for prayer, and limiting outings to two people from the same household. Guidelines explained
■ Health Minister recommended imposing a closure on the largely ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, which has become a hot spot for the spread of the virus. Director General says 'still no trend reversal' in coronavirus spread in Israel.
■ For information on the Health Ministry's app that tracks contact with confirmed coronavirus patients, click here. For Health Ministry's official website on the corovavirus outbreak, click here.
– Bibi’s impossible victory and Israel’s corona blind spots
Haaretz Weekly Ep. 72
1:27 P.M. All overseas arrivals to Israel to be transferred to isolation facilities, PM's office says
Israel's prime minister instructed the Defense Ministry to faciltate the transfer of all people coming into Israel from abroad into hotels and other facilities converted for the isolation of potential coronavirus carriers, a spokesperson said on Wednesday morning.
The decision is effective immediately.
Previously, people coming from abroad were required to enter self-quarantine for 14 days, and provide proof they would have a place to do so. (Noa Landau)
>> Welcome to Israel's 'Hotel Coronavirus' – read Ronny Linder's story on IDF-run isolation facilities
11:31 A.M. Number of unemployed in Israel passes one million
The total number of active job seekers in Israel passed the million mark just before midnight yesterday, and stands at 1,004,316 this morning, official figures show.
This constitutes 24.1 percent of Israel's workforce. 843,945 people registered with Israel's Employment Service in March alone, close to 90 percent of them on unpaid leave.