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June 11, 2020 9:35 am

Israel Steps Up Enforcement Measures as Coronavirus Infections Rise

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Israeli soldiers prepare to deliver food to residents in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, amid the coronavirus pandemic, April 5, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen. – The number of coronavirus cases in Israel is on the rise again and police have stepped up enforcement of regulations, including fines for violations. On Wednesday, police were seen in Jerusalem handing out fines to those not wearing a mask.

The first 10 days of June have already seen 1,253 new cases—a huge jump when compared to the entire month of May, which saw only 1,186 cases.

Israel has slowly eased restrictions in recent weeks, allowing stores to open and for people to congregate in larger numbers.

But this appears to have led to growing violations of strict Health Ministry regulations, such as the requirement to wear a mask in public.

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During a tour of Soroka Hospital in Beersheva on Wednesday, Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein reminded the public to heed regulations, saying, “We are headed for a soaring rate of over 200 patients per 24 hours. This is a change in trend. After experiencing a certain period of ease, disregard for regulations led to this increase.”

“If we take the guidance as suggestions, the coronavirus will never go away,” warned Edelstein. “The most effective way to handle the virus without harming the economy is with strict enforcement.”

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