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Israel Sees Record Number of Daily COVID-19 Cases, Braces for New Restrictions

The Israeli government announced late Thursday evening a new set of restrictions on public and social gatherings after weeks of a consistent increase in reported coronavirus cases. As of Friday morning, no more than 20 people will be allowed to gather in private indoor spaces and no more than 50 in public venues such as restaurants, bars and places of worship. In an urgent news conference aired live Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned the public that harsher restrictions may be imposed in the immediate future, as the health crisis seems to be escalating faster than expected. For the first time since the epidemic began, over 1,000 new cases were reported in the country on Thursday. The 1,107 new cases pushed the total number of Israelis who have contracted the virus to 9,618, including 70 in serious condition and 27 on life support. To date, 325 Israelis have died from the coronavirus.