Haredi cities and communities in Israel have recorded the sharpest rise in the number of coronavirus infections per person in the country over the past week, according to the latest report published by the Health Ministry on Monday.
On Sunday evening the government decided to place eight Haredi cities and 15 Jerusalem neighborhoods under lockdown due to a rapid spread of COVID-19 in the ultra-Orthodox community in the country.
In Bnei Brak, which has been under a government lockdown for the past few days, the number of patients has jumped from 410 on Sunday, March 29, to 1,202 on Sunday, April 5, meaning the spread has risen by 2.9 times almost tripling itself.
For comparison, Israel's national average is 2.0, meaning over the past week the number of infected in the country has doubled itself.
In the Haredi settlement of Modi’in Illit, the number of cases has risen from 30 last week to 117 this week, quadrupling in numbers with a 3.9 infection ration and more than doubling the national average of 2.0.
A host of other cities also recorded a spread ration higher than the average in the country.
In Jerusalem, the weekly ratio 2.8, in predominantly Haredi cities of Beit Shemesh and Beitar Illit the ration stands at 2.7, in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad the rations stands at 2.5, followed by Or Yehuda (2.5), Haifa (2.1) and Safed (2.1).
The community with the biggest ratio of coronavirus infection is a small Haredi town of Rekhasim near Haifa in northern Israel, with a population of 12,000. The spread of the virus in the town has jumped by an unprecedented 8.7 times over the past week.
The Haredi population has been hardest hit, both in Israel and around the world, as its traditionally insular way of life and heavy emphasis on community have created a perfect storm for the virus to spread.
The authorities fear that the desire to celebrate the Passover holiday will lead many in the community to ignore Health Ministry directives and gather in large numbers.