A woman gets a fine in Jerusalem for not wearing a mask (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90) Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Coronavirus mask

With a major spike in COVID-19 cases hitting Israel, authorities are again tracking those infected with the deadly virus and locking down the hardest-hit areas.

By Ezra Stone, United with Israel

On Friday, Israel registered over 10,000 active coronavirus cases, a first since COVID-19 appeared in the Jewish state in February, the Health Ministry announced.

Currently, Israel has 29 patients on ventilators and has suffered a total of 330 deaths in total related to coronavirus.

In response to the surge in new cases, Israel sent thousands of people into quarantine and reinstituted a hi-tech solution to keep an eye on those infected with the deadly virus, tracking cell phones of those with COVID-19 to prevent them from infecting others.

According to Israeli media sources, the Shin Bet security agency used the system to send over 30,000 people into self-quarantine since last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Arabs living under Palestinian Authority rule in Judea and Samaria are also experiencing a spike in virus cases.

According to Palestinian health authorities quoted by The Associated Press, the PA reported over 1,700 coronavirus cases in Hebron, with “hundreds more” in Bethlehem and Shechem (aka Nablus). PA-controlled Arab areas “reported more than 3,700 cases since the outbreak began,” and “more than 400 have died,” AP reported.

“We wanted to continue and open the economy as much as possible but with the amount of infections, which appeared like a very high cliff, it forced us at this point to get involved more aggressively,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz commented to Israeli Army Radio, AP reported.

With over 1,000 new cases per day, a greater total than was reported in the first corona wave, Israel has also begun to reimpose restrictions on the number of people permitted at public gatherings, in addition to ramping up enforcement of rules related to mask-wearing.

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