Ministers approve closures for hotspot neighborhoods in Beit Shemesh, Netivot

Ministers have approved via telephone conference the enforcement of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak-like lockdowns for ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Beit Shemesh and Netivot, which have become coronavirus hotspots in recent weeks.

The shutdowns will go into effect on Sunday morning at 6 a.m. and will extend for five days.

Beit Shemesh, with its population of 120,000, is the city with the fourth most virus cases in the country (392 as of Thursday), trailing only the far larger cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak.

Netivot, with a population of 36,000, has 82 confirmed cases as of Thursday, a number completely disproportional to other cities of such size. The only towns with a smaller population that have more cases than Netivot are Migdal Ha’Emek, Deir al-Assad and Or Yehuda.

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