קריית יערים
Kiryat Ye'arim residents wearing disposable masks and gloves in a local supermarket
Photo: Courtesy
Kiryat Ye'arim residents wearing disposable masks and gloves in a local supermarket

Minister mulls lockdown of Haredi 'coronavirus' town

Some 1,500 of residents of Kiryat Ye’arim near Jerusalem are in quarantine, with 8 confirmed cases; among ill are several members of same family and a woman who recently gave birth

Yael Freidson |
Published: 03.17.20 , 11:55
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is considering sealing off the ultra-Orthodox town Kiryat Ye’arim (Telz-Stone) near Jerusalem after eight locals were confirmed to be infected with coronavirus and over 1,500 were quarantined. This would be a first for an Israeli community.
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  • The Health Ministry said it was awaiting the test results from five additional families in the 6,000-member community before making a final decision.
    קריית יעריםקריית יערים
    Kiryat Ye'arim residents wearing disposable masks and gloves in a local supermarket
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    On Monday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri approved NIS 500,000 ($113,000) in aid to the Kiryat Ye’arim council.
    Among those ill with the virus in the town were several members of a single family and a woman who recently gave birth.
    Kiryat Ye’arim is home to a post-natal recovery center and a person ill with the coronavirus paid a visit there earlier this month before their diagnosis, according to the Health Ministry.
    Kiryat Ye'arim Kiryat Ye'arim
    Kiryat Ye'arim
    (Photo: Ido Erez)
    Also Monday, the deputy head of the Health Ministry Itamar Grotto said more strict restrictions on movement were being considered as part of the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
    Deputy Health Ministry DG Itamar Grotto Deputy Health Ministry DG Itamar Grotto
    Deputy Health Ministry DG Itamar Grotto
    (Photo: Asaf Magal)
    “We may ask people to leave the house less, and only for necessary errands," Grotto said. "The government is considering a general closure on all citizens, and if that happens it would mean all age groups will be asked to stay home until further notice."
    On Saturday, the government announced the latest wave of restrictions, saying all educational institutions would be shuttered and gatherings limited to no more than 10 people at any one time.
    On Sunday, all “non-essential” businesses, including malls, restaurants and most stores, were shut down.
    Over 50,000 Israelis are currently in quarantine and at least 300 are confirmed infected with the virus.
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