image Photo: Flash90

NSA Ben Shabbat: Israel in virus ‘danger zone’

Israel’s National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat is warning that the country remains in a dangerous zone in the battle against the coronavirus, despite the unrelenting campaign to combat the pandemic.

Ben Shabbat, who is directing Israel’s special coronavirus task force, informed the Cabinet that “All it takes is one day like Purim, or one local outbreak, in order to thwart all our efforts, and therefore we are obligated to continue with the existing limitations and follow all instructions.”

Health Ministry officials confirmed a shocking increase of 760 new cases since yesterday, to a total of 5,591 infected Israelis of whom 96 have been diagnosed as “critically ill.” Virus-related deaths have risen to 21.

Local media has revealed that the situation is far grimmer in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, which have been notably less-adherent to government directives than the general public. The number of new corona patients rose by 15 in secular neighborhoods, while the remaining 745 cases broke out in predominantly-religious areas. 159 of the newly-afflicted individuals reside in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, followed by 131 in religious parts of Jerusalem.

In light of this emerging data, the interim government is currently deliberating the possible imposition of blockades on several of the plagued communities. And while a final decision has yet to be made, numerous police checkpoints have been placed at all entry points to prevent non-residents from trying to go  into those sections under the threat of fines.