Spike in virus infections feared after Jerusalem Purim parties
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Spike in virus infections feared after Jerusalem Purim parties

Health Ministry officials say plans to reopen Israel's economy next weekend could be delayed

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Parties like this one in Jerusalem's Nachlaot  neighbourhood were condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu (Photo: @SuleimanMas1/Twitter)
Parties like this one in Jerusalem's Nachlaot neighbourhood were condemned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu (Photo: @SuleimanMas1/Twitter)

Israel’s Health Ministry was preparing to delay plans to ease coronavirus restrictions amid fears of a fresh spike in infections after thousands of people gathered to mark Purim.

There were dozens of street parties in Jerusalem, with hundreds attending an event in the Nachlaot neighbourhood on Sunday.

Few participants were seen wearing masks covering their nose and mouth, and police confiscated loudspeakers from one group of revellers.

Vast crowds also turned out to beaches and public squares in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile a large number of Strictly Orthodox families, their children in fancy dress, were pictured walking along busy dual carriageways towards the city after a public transport was halted.

A three-night curfew set in place for the Purim holiday ended on Sunday morning, but Jews living in walled cities traditionally celebrate one day later, meaning many were attracted to the celebrations there.

Mass gatherings are still banned and many schools remain closed under Israel’s coronavirus restrictions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the illegal parties and gatherings, saying there were “intolerable”.

Israel’s successful vaccination campaign has allowed it to gradually reopen its economy, but the country’s virus transmission rate has been on the rise since last week.

Plans to reopen restaurants for seating next Sunday could be delayed if the R rate, which measures the number of new cases from each coronavirus infection, exceeds 1.

A health ministry source told Haaretz that the R rate had already been rising before Purim and that the weekend’s celebrations may have caused it to accelerate.

Proposals to delay reopening the economy were set to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments