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Coronavirus digest: Israel to enter fresh national lockdown

September 13, 2020

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the new stay-at-home order will take effect on Friday to stem a major spike in COVID-19 cases. Austria's chancellor has also warned of a second wave. All the latest from DW here.

Israeli advertising advising people to wear masks
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/O. Balilty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced that a new countrywide lockdown will be imposed amid a stubborn surge in coronavirus cases.

Beginning Friday, the start of the Jewish High Holiday season, schools, restaurants and hotels will shut down, among other businesses, and Israelis will face restrictions on movement.

"Our goal is to stop the increase (in cases) and lower morbidity," Netanyahu said in a nationally broadcast statement. "I know that these steps come at a difficult price for all of us. This is not the holiday we are used to."

Here is the latest from around the world:


Austria is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections, the country's chancellor announced on Sunday, as the country saw a spike in new cases.

From Friday to Saturday the nation of 9 million reported 869 new cases, more than half in the capital of Vienna.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned that the mark of 1,000 daily cases would be reached within a few days, showing that the country is experiencing the "beginning of a second wave." On Friday, he expanded mandatory mask-wearing in public places.

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is expanding mask requirementsImage: picture-alliance/APA/R. Schlager

Daily confirmed cases in the Czech Republic have reached a record level for the fourth day in a week, at 1,541 cases. Health Minister Adam Vojtech said "nobody expected" such a spike. The country has seen 35,401 cases and 453 deaths.

Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said the survival of the Air France-KLM airline group was not guaranteed if the economic crisis caused by the pandemic continued. The airlines received a combined €10.4 billion ($12.3 billion) from their respective countries in order to stay afloat during the economic crisis.

Pharmaceutical and consumer goods corporation Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit said it would begin phase II trials for its vaccine. The study will be carried out in three countries, including the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. It will last two months and involve 550 participants.

Read more: Coronavirus skeptic marches in Munich and Hannover stopped by police

Coronavirus protests
Protesters in Munich rallied against coronavirus restrictions on SaturdayImage: picture-alliance/dpa/K.J. Hildenbrand

Asia and Oceania

Australia's Victoria state has arrested 74 people and fined 176 for breaching public health orders in scattered protests against the ongoing lockdown. The city of Melbourne has been under strict lockdown for the last six weeks. The state currently makes up around 75% of Australia's active coronavirus cases.

India has registered another single-day spike of 94,372 new daily confirmed cases. The country's overall tally has reached 4.75 million, but with a strong recovery rate officials are positive that India is fighting the virus well. India is testing more than 1 million people per day.

Indonesia has confirmed it will impose stricter rules in the capital of Jakarta from Monday. The country now has the highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia — 8,723. 

The South Korean capital of Seoul will ease stringent social distancing rules, the health minister announced. The eased rules will be effective from Monday for two weeks.


South Africa's economy is likely to shrink by more than the government's predicted 7% this year, the finance minister has said. A strict lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic saw the economy brought to a near-standstill.

Cameroon COVID-19 skepticism

Ethiopia will start manufacturing coronavirus test kits due to a stark increase in cases in the country. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made the announcement at the opening of a factory which is owned by a Chinese manufacturer. The factory hopes to produce more than 10 million testing kits. Ethiopia also opened a field hospital for up to 200 severe cases.

Middle East

Syrian state media said more than 3 million Syrian students started school in government-held regions of the country Sunday, marking the first day of school with strict prevention measures. Many students outside of government control, primarily in the northwestern province of Idlib, have missed attending school due to violence.

Saudi Arabia will partially lift its suspension on international flights from September 15. The interior ministry said that it will end all restrictions on air, land and sea transportation for Saudi citizens "after January 1" next year. The kingdom said Gulf citizens and non-Saudis with valid residency permits would be allowed to enter the country from September 15 so long as they were not infected.


Brazil, the worst-hit country in Latin America charted more than 131,000 deaths on Saturday. Latin America this week passed 8 million infections, making it the most badly-affected region in the world.

The United States has not "rounded the corner" on the coronavirus pandemic, according to the top government infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci. President Donald Trump made the claim earlier on the week, but Fauci said the statistics showed that this is not yet true.

Read more: US expelled thousands of migrant children due to coronavirus rules

You can catch up on yesterday's coronavirus digest here: Coronavirus digest: France pandemic 'worsening'

kded/rc (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)