A man who was diagnosed with coronavirus was arrested by police in Jerusalem after he traveled to the capital on Monday from his home in Netanya, where he was supposed to be in quarantine.
Authorities located the man, 22, in the heart of the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, police said in a statement.
Officers in full protective clothing cleared residents from the building before arresting the suspect and taking him away for questioning, the statement said.
Police “notified him that, as a confirmed [virus] patient, he is violating public health orders and removed him in a police patrol car from the area, in order to prevent a danger to public health and to continue investigating the reasons for his violation of orders,” the statement said.
According to Hebrew media reports, it was a source in the ultra-Orthodox community who notified police about the man’s journey from the coastal Netanya to the capital.
It was the second time in as many days that a member of the ultra-Orthodox community, confirmed as carrying the virus, broke isolation orders and ventured out before being arrested.
There has been growing anger from some in Israel at the ultra-Orthodox community, where many initially dismissed social distancing regulations. Officials said this led to a particularly high rate of infection in ultra-Orthodox-majority cities and neighborhoods.
On Sunday, a man was arrested on suspicion of deliberately spreading the disease while traveling on a bus along a main highway towards Jerusalem.
Police said in a statement that the suspect, a confirmed COVID-19 patient, was taken in for questioning on Route 1, and that all the other bus passengers were ordered to quarantine for 14 days.
The virus patient was a man in his 30s from the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Beitar Illit, near Jerusalem, who was apprehended on a 960 bus from Haifa to the capital.
The man reportedly returned from abroad last week and two days ago tested positive for the virus. Despite knowing he had been infected, he decided to leave home quarantine and get on a bus. His family was said to have called the police to alert them to the danger. He was tracked down via his phone.
Video footage showed the suspect being confronted by police and then being led by Magen David Adom paramedics in medical gear into an ambulance.
Channel 12 news reported the suspect could face up to seven years in jail for knowingly endangering public health.
Israel is set for a nationwide lockdown in the lead-up to the Passover holiday this week, according to multiple reports, with ministers expected to approve the measure Monday night, after ultra-Orthodox members of the cabinet reportedly opposed applying limits only to ultra-Orthodox cities.
According to multiple Hebrew media reports, the lockdown would prevent most Israelis from leaving the municipal boundaries of their own cities, though they would be allowed to shop for essential supplies within the borders of their cities or regions within the cities.
The week-long Passover holiday starts on Wednesday night.
The lockdown is set to take effect at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, and to remain in force until early Friday morning. In addition, a curfew could be announced on Passover eve, banning all movement outside the home Wednesday evening.
As of Monday there were 8,611 confirmed cases of COVID-19 the disease caused by the coronavirus in Israel. Of those, 107 are on ventilators. There have been 56 deaths.