Bnei Brak, Yerushalayim Lockdowns Expire

At a police roadblock in a chareidi neighborhood of Yerushalayim, Sunday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The special “restricted zones” of Bnei Brak and chareidi neighborhoods in Yerushalayim were set to expire at midnight Sunday, though the cabinet is scheduled to review the situation on Monday morning.

Officials were reportedly encouraged by data showing an improvement in the health situation and by the spirit of cooperation on the part of local residents, despite acute difficulties, including the transfer of elderly people to quarantine hotels on Pesach.

There are no immediate plans to renew the strict quarantine, however, and for the time being it will mean that residents in those communities will be under no stricter regulations than the rest of the country. Chareidi leaders have objected that these areas were unfairly singled out, with no formal criteria or comparative statistics with other parts of the country, even though infection rates were high.

The unprecedented closure saw hundreds of IDF soldiers and police distributing food to families ordered to stay home and manning checkpoints to enforce the orders.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases rose to 13,491, according to a Health Ministry update on Sunday night.

The death toll stood at 172. Of those who are sick, 146 were reported in serious condition, 109 on ventilators.

Another 142 are in moderate condition and the rest are displaying mild symptoms.

The ministry said that 3,754 people have so far recovered from the virus.

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