outbrain
Close  

Israeli leader announces lockdown over Passover holiday

/ 07:12 AM April 07, 2020

JERUSALEM  — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday a complete lockdown over the upcoming Passover holiday to control the country’s coronavirus outbreak, but offered citizens some hope by saying he expects to lift widespread restrictions after the week-long festival.

An ultra-Orthodox Jew wears an improvised protective face mask as he pulls a supermarket cart on a mainly deserted street because of the government’s measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, in Bnei Brak, a suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, April 3, 2020. The military plans to send troops in to assist local authorities with coronavirus control. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Netanyahu’s announcement came as leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church in neighboring Egypt said they were suspending Easter celebrations because of the coronavirus.

ADVERTISEMENT

Israel has already greatly restricted movement to help slow the outbreak, allowing people to leave their homes to buy food or other essential activities.

In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu said the government was further restricting movement for Passover, which begins Wednesday evening with a festive meal known as the “Seder.”

FEATURED STORIES

“Every family will sit down for Seder night on its own. Celebrate only with the immediate family that’s at home with you now,” he said.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon, Israel will ban movement between cities. From Wednesday evening until Thursday morning, Israelis will not be allowed to leave their homes.

Netanyahu said similar travel restrictions would be in place for the upcoming holidays of Easter and Ramadan later in April.

At the same time, he said “there are positive signs on the horizon” and that preparations were already underway for a possible easing of movement restrictions after Passover.

Israel has reported nearly 9,000 cases of coronavirus and 57 deaths.

For most people, the virus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and even lead to death.

In Egypt, the Coptic church said it was suspending Easter prayers and celebrations at churches later this month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Church spokesman Boulis Halim told The Associated Press that the church also suspended services for the Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday, celebrated on April 19 by Egyptian Coptic Orthodox followers, one the world’s oldest Christian communities.

Mosques and churches have already been ordered to shut across Egypt to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Egypt on Monday reported 149 new infections, the biggest single-day jump so far, bringing the case count to 1,322 and 85 fatalities.

Iran is facing the worst outbreak in the region. Iranian state TV reported Monday that the death toll there from the coronavirus rose by another 136 people, pushing total deaths to 3,739 amid 60,500 confirmed cases.

GSG

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Israel, lockdown, Passover, Virus
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.