Israel Entering Full Lockdown for 2 Weeks – with Extension Option

Israel Entering Full Lockdown for 2 Weeks – with Extension Option

The latest COVID-19 information and statistics for the Middle East and North Africa

At 2 pm local time on Friday, Israel will enter a full lockdown for two weeks.

The country is already a week into a countrywide closure, but in the early morning hours of Thursday, the government voted to tighten the restrictions to curb rising coronavirus infections. Cabinet members added the option for an extension.

The new restrictions include the complete closure of workplaces except for essential jobs, the closure of markets except for grocery stores and pharmacies, and the shuttering of synagogues except for prayers on Yom Kippur, which begins on Sunday evening.


Iran’s death toll from the novel coronavirus passed the 25,000 mark on Thursday, rising by 175 to 25,015, according to the Health Ministry. The country has the highest number of cases in the Middle East, with 436,319 total infections, according to Thursday’s update from the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday that he was considering the reinstatement of restrictions in some of the worst-hit provinces, according to Iranian media reports.


Four members of the same family recently died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Middle East Monitor. They died in the Damietta Governorate after attending a wedding of one of their relatives.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia announced 30 more deaths from the novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the kingdom to 4,599. Its Health Ministry also confirmed 498 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 331,857, with 314,793 recoveries.

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi has fined 1,672 people at beaches and shopping malls for violating coronavirus restrictions over the past two months, Gulf News reports. Violations include the failure to wear facemasks and keep proper social distancing, and the hosting or attendance of social gatherings where participation surpasses the maximum number allowed by the government.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 17:00 UTC on Thursday.

CountryConfirmed casesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Palestinian Territories37,59127426,93410,383
Saudi Arabia331,8574,599314,79312,465
United Arab Emirates88,53240777,93710,188


Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.