The number of coronavirus patients in the predominantly Haredi city of Bnei Brak is nearing 1000 with at least 900 confirmed diagnoses so far, as ultra-Orthodox cities continue to record the sharpest rises in new COVID-19 cases, health officials said Thursday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday announced plans to further tighten the restrictions in the central city. The move came after government came under fire for not enforcing the directives meant to fight COVID-19 on the Haredi population, many of whom do not comply with the orders.
On Wednesday morning the number of confirmed cases in Bnei Brak stood at 723, meaning that over the past 24 hours alone there has been a 25 percent increase in new diagnoses in the city.
In Jerusalem, which also has a large Haredi population, the number of new diagnoses has climbed by 13% to 916, up from 781 just 24 hours earlier.
In the Haredi settlement of Modi'in Illit, the rate of infection was similar with 15%. There are currently 70 COVID-19 patients in the settlement, up from 64 some 24 hours earlier.
Some non-Haredi cities also showed a rapid increase in new cases over the past 24 hours, with Netanya, Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva all recording a spike of over 20%.
Nevertheless, the number of infected in those cities remains relatively low, with the southern city of Ashkelon being hit the hardest out of the three, with 151 coronavirus cases.
In Tel Aviv, there has been an eight percent increase in new diagnoses over the past 24 hours, with the total number of cases now standing at 324.
Earlier, the Health Ministry said another five people have died from complications related to coronavirus, bringing the country's death toll to 31, with the total number of COVID-19 cases in Israel now standing at 6,211.