Israel’s Health Ministry has announced that Bnei Brak has the most coronavirus cases per capita, with a rate of roughly 2.5 persons per 1,000.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there are 198,863 residents currently living in the predominantly haredi city. Haredim, or ultra-Orthodox Jews, were slow to adjust to the growing pandemic, gathering in synagogues despite the risk of spreading the virus.
Their leaders blame the government for failing to reach them through suitable channels. Haredi Jews rarely own televisions or even smartphones.
In an effort to curb the spread, numerous police checkpoints on Tuesday were set up around Bnei Brak to turn away non-residents from entering the city.
Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov told Channel 12 News yesterday that he had spoken to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the dangerous situation.“It requires intense involvement by the Home Front Command and the police — I believe we will see progress on the matter during the course of the day,” he said.
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman refuted recent reports accusing Bnei Brak’s residents of ignoring the State’s coronavirus rules.
“You cannot accuse an entire public of the actions of several rogue groups here and there,” Litzman said on Tuesday. “Ninety-nine percent of the public listen to the State and the rabbis.”