News Alerts

03 Apr 2020 | 11:29 AM UTC

Israel/Palestinian Terr.: Heightened security measures in place in Bnei Brak as of April 3 /update 17

Israel News Alert

Heightened security measures in place in Bnei Brak as of April 3 as city is declared a restricted zone due to COVID-19; follow all directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/3/2020, 10:00 AM until 4/10/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Tel_Aviv). COUNTRY/REGION Bnei Brak

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Event

As of Friday, April 3, a heightened security presence has been reported in Bnei Brak (north-east of Tel Aviv) after the Israeli cabinet declared the area a 'restricted zone' on Thursday, April 2, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Around 1000 officers have reportedly been sent to patrol, maintain, and enforce the closure, which stops residents from being able to enter or exit the city. Dozens of checkpoints have been set up around the city, with reports of drones being deployed to further enforce restrictions to movement within the city, with residents being told to only leave their homes when essential. The measures were announced following estimates that up to 75,000 of Bnei Brak's residents may be infected with COVID-19. Sources state that the regulations, although only valid for seven days, could see an extension of up to 21 days.

On Wednesday, April 1, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a series of domestic restrictions. Effective April 2, all Israeli citizens returning from abroad will be transported to hotels for a mandatory 14-day quarantine and will no longer be permitted to self-quarantine. Additionally, Netanyahu called on all individuals in the country to wear face masks when circulating in public spaces. On Wednesday, March 25, residents were ordered to remain in their homes unless they were undertaking vital activities, such as purchasing food and medicine or working in essential services. Citizens are also allowed to take a short walk but must remain within 100 m of their home.

To date, there are more than 6090 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 25 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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