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Israel locks down city of Bnei Brak over coronavirus

Israel locks down city of Bnei Brak over coronavirus
Entries or exits from the city of about 200,000 people banned, with tens of thousands reported infected

By AbdelRaouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) - Israeli authorities on Friday declared a city east of the capital Tel Aviv a "restricted zone" and banned entries and exits from it over the coronavirus outbreak.

After the Cabinet declared the ultra-orthodox-dominated city of Bnei Brak a "restricted zone" on Thursday, Israeli police surrounded the city with iron barriers.

The decision came after reports of thousands of coronavirus infections in the city, which has a population of about 200,000.

"Tens of thousands of residents of the city are infected with the virus," the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation quoted the Health Ministry as saying on Friday.

Bnei Brak and West Jerusalem made local headlines in the past few days after reporting high incidents of COVID-19.

On Friday, the number of coronavirus cases in Israel crossed 7,000 and the death toll reached 37.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows more than one million cases have been reported worldwide so far, with the global death toll over 54,000, and nearly 219,000 recoveries.

*Bassel Ibrahim contributed to this report from Ankara.

source: News Feed
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