Israel imposes week-long restrictions on coronavirus contagion zones

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Israeli kids wearing face masks play in a field at HaSharon Park, in Hadera on March 23, 2020. Photo by Chen Leopold/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** פארק השרון חדרה ילדים קורונה וירוס מגפה משרד הבריאות ילידם רואים

Israel on Tuesday began a week-long campaign of night curfews and school closures in dozens of towns and neighbourhoods with high coronavirus counts, hoping it will help stem a spike in cases.

Most of the 40 zones subject to the partial lockdowns are identified with Israeli Arabs or ultra-Orthodox Jews, minorities where crowding has helped spread the pandemic.

Israel, with a population of 9 million, has recorded 135,288 cases of COVID-19 and 1,031 deaths.

Some government officials have called for a nationwide lockdown if the partial measures fail. That could disrupt celebrations of the Jewish high holy days, which run from Sept. 18 to Oct. 10.

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