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Israel’s coronavirus cabinet will convene on Tuesday to discuss tightening the nationwide lockdown in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 infections and mortality, the government said on Monday (September 21).

The ministers will discuss the “current morbidity situation and possible further restrictions,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

Officials with the health ministry told the Hebrew-language Haaretz daily that the main measure under consideration is to impose further restrictions on working places in the public and private sectors.

Also on Monday, Director-General of the Health Ministry Hezi Levi warned that Israel is in “a state of emergency” and urged hospitals to postpone “elective procedures,” which refer to all procedures that are not urgent.

A three-week lockdown was imposed on Friday, requiring many businesses to stay closed and setting strict limits on movements and gatherings.

Some 4,300 new cases were reported on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 187,902, according to official figures.

The number of overall fatalities reached 1,256, while the number of patients in serious condition rose to a record high of 643.

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