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Israel extends lockdown, sees delay in COVID-19 turnaround

Israel extends lockdown, sees delay in COVID-19 turnaround”

An estimated 10,000 people are taking part in the funeral for the head of the Brisk Yeshiva, Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, who died at 99.

Soloveitchik died earlier on Sunday.

Police seeking to enforce the lockdown have in recent days clashed with haredim in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood and in Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv. But in such a densely packed environment, with children among the crowd, attempting to disperse the crowd would have been "unwise and dangerous", he said.

Since last week, the nearly total closure of Ben Gurion International Airport has been added to the general closure, which in principle would reopen tomorrow, although it is possible that this will also be extended for a few more days.The country is now in what the authorities have described as a race between the spread of infections, contained by confinement but aggravated by the arrival of new strains of the virus, and a swift vaccination campaign.

And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promoted a quick vaccination of Israel's most vulnerable under lockdown, as dual pathways to a possible reopening of the economy in February.

Netanyahu, a right-winger facing a hard re-election contest in March, has relied on the loyalty of ultra-Orthodox political leaders to sustain his record 11 years in power.

More news: Russian authorities detain over 5,300 in anti-govt protests

The conservative Netanyahu is up for reelection on March 23.

"This is what unequal enforcement looks like", Gantz said on Twitter.

A post in the Israel PM's official account said Modi noted that his country is "committed to the security of our people and added that India would continue to cooperate with Israel in the fight against terrorism". Either everyone is locked down - or everyone opens.

Asked when he now anticipated a turnaround, Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said: "Our goal is to achieve 5.5 million (fully vaccinated citizens) and I reckon that the moment we cross the 3-to-3.5 million (mark) you will already see change".

Launching what has become the world's fastest vaccine rollout on December 19, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set protecting Israel's most vulnerable cohorts - around 24 per cent of 9 million citizens - as the benchmark for a possible reopening of the economy in February.



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