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Two senior Israeli public figures have tested positive for the coronavirus, as the country endures a second lockdown to stall steeply-rising cases.
Gila Gamliel, Israel’s environmental protection minister and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, announced she has the virus and was isolating.
A few hours later, Ayman Odeh, the country’s most prominent Arab lawmaker, said he was also infected and had a mild fever.
“I urge everyone to follow the rules - masks, distancing and hygiene,” Odeh said on Twitter.
Israel has recorded more than 264,000 cases and almost 1,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nearly 5,000 people in the Iranian capital Tehran have coronavirus and 15 % of them will die according to World Health Organisation projections, Payam Tabarsi, head of the infectious disease department at Masih Daneshvari Hospital, said at the weekend. He described the figures as a disaster.
A member of the Tehran city council also reported that 136 people had died in the capital in one day, a figure that jars with official claims that only 170 people are dying nationwide each day.
Tabarsi also said he did not believe in a second or third wave of the virus, arguing the first wave never went away.
A slowly building increase in the number of infections started in late August, reaching over 3,500 a day and has now spread across the country leading to calls for a complete 2 week shutdown, similar to the circuit break once proposed by some Downing Street advisers, but never adopted.
Officials are under criticism for not doing more to enforce restrictions in workplaces, schools, roads markets and public ceremonies. Many of the powers to act have been devolved to local provinces.
In a sign that patience is running out Ghafoor Ghasempour, the governor of Karaj, announced on Sunday that the “request and request” period for the people is over and those who do not follow the health protocols will be dealt with severely. He stressed that fines and penalties are among the new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.