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.
■ 10,878 Israelis have so far tested positive for the coronavirus; 103 people have died. In the West Bank, 255 cases have been diagnosed so far. Two have died. In Gaza, 13 cases have been diagnosed.
■ Laboratory material shortages are forcing Israel to reduce testing, but Israel says it's planning on producing materials locally. The government has called upon citizens to wear face masks in public to better protect themselves and others from the virus. Guidelines explained
■ The government has extended the lockdown on the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, a coronavirus hotspot, and extended curfew on Jerusalem neighborhoods with a high infection rate.
■ For the Health Ministry's official website on the corovavirus outbreak, click here.
– Haredi leaders learn harsh corona lesson as Israel sends in the troops
Haredi leaders learn harsh corona lesson as Israel sends in the troopsHaaretz
12:00 P.M. Closure in effect in 17 Jerusalem neighborhoods
Multiple Jerusalem neighborhoods with high rates of coronavirus infection have gone under full closure Sunday after the government declared them restricted areas.
The government approved extending the curfew, already in place due to the Passover holiday that began last week, until Wednesday morning under emergency regulations and at the recommendation of the Health Ministry on Saturday night. The curfew extension went into effect on Sunday at noon.
Residents can only leave their neighborhood for work, essential medical care, the funeral of a first-degree family member, the transfer of a minor between divorced parents, legal proceedings and any other essential reasons that have been the subject of prior approval.
Police are responsible for enforcing the closure, and are putting up hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints at the neighborhoods' entrances and exits. Over a thousand officers, 200 IDF soldiers and drones will patrol, a statement from the Jerusalem Municipality said. (Josh Breiner and Nir Hasson)
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11:45 A.M. U.S. Embassy says ambassador did not violate coronavirus regulations at Western Wall blessing
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman participated in the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall on Sunday, prompting the U.S. Embassy to release a statement clarfying that his participation "was in accordance with the Government of Israel’s social-distancing regulations. He attended the service at the invitation of the chief rabbi of the Western Wall. At the end of the service, the rabbi added a prayer for those in America suffering from COVID-19." (Noa Landau)
11:15 A.M. Israeli government decides not to stop all flights