Closures were imposed on neighborhoods in several cities across Israel Friday as the government tried to stop an explosion of new coronavirus infections.

The Ministry of Health ordered lockdowns of several neighborhoods in the port city of Ashdod and the railway hub of Lod due to soaring infection rates there, with residents restricted to their homes except in specific cases of urgency.

In the 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday another 966 Israelis were confirmed to be infected with coronavirus, bringing the total number of active cases in the country to 8647 – more than four times the number of people who were sick with the virus a month ago.

In the past two weeks hospitalizations have doubled, and of the 270 coronavirus patients being treated in hospitals, 58 are in serious condition and 24 of those patients are connected to ventilators. Israel’s virus death toll rose by one overnight to 324.

“For more than a month, the trend of the coronavirus in Israel has been on the rise … with a doubling rate of less than 10 days,” the Health Ministry said in a statement released on their Telegram channel.” Therefore, significant measures are required at this time including declaring areas as “restricted areas”, while taking additional measures throughout the state.”