Roni Gamzu
Roni Gamzu Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Coronavirus Czar Prof. Roni Gamzu held a press conference Thursday evening following the Cabinet's decision to impose a lockdown on 30 cities and towns starting this coming Monday.

"We are seeing a high increase in the amount of morbidity and of new patients in the haredi sector," Gamzu said. "After they managed to reduce the level of morbidity, it has risen alarmingly again. Within the communities of the haredi sector there is great difficulty in trying to cope with it."

"I visit the Arab communities a lot and see indifference, contempt and apathy. We do not understand that a wedding is a contagion event that has consequences for the family and those around them," Gamzu added.

"To be a red city is not the mark of Cain," he clarified. "These are places where we want to increase involvement to help them get out of the cycle of illness."

"In the red cities with high morbidity we will introduce a nightly curfew and close the educational system. It is not an easy step, not for the cities, not for the residents, and not for me. But when we see a very large outbreak and loss of control over the morbidity levels then we have no choice," Gamzu said.

"No weddings, no large events, no disregard for the rules in any restaurant, anyone who does not put on a mask and does not keep the 'green' instructions is spitting in the face of the medical personal. There will be more difficult decisions. We'll have to see what happens in the next few days. This is a message to all the people of Israel," the Coronavirus Czar declared.

Gamzu added that there is a good chance that a lockdown will be imposed during the High Holidays. "It is possible that in a week we will reach 60 red cities, with an exponential increase in the number of those infected, and then we will be required to take steps such as a general closure."

The Israeli government’s Coronavirus Cabinet voted Thursday afternoon to impose a total lockdown on 31 towns and cities across Israel in a bid to clamp down on the spread of the coronavirus.

The thirty-one towns and cities included in the lockdown list include a large number of Israeli Arab communities, along with several cities with large haredi populations, such as Elad, Rekhasim, Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, and Beitar Illit.