Health Ministry Officials have noted a dramatic and worrying rise in the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the Belz neighborhood of Yerushalayim. 38 people, from different families, have all been confirmed carriers of the virus in the past few days.
Charedi journalist Yair Sharki tweeted that: “A lot of people are talking about Meah Shearim and a lot less about what is taking place in Kiryat Belz. This is the neighborhood with the fastest rise in confirmed cases in Yerushalayim in the past five days.”
Sharki added that the situation makes a lot of sense when taking into account the behavior of the populace there. “There have been countless reports of people violating safety regulations. This is the heart of the Chareidi mainstream world, but they are acting like a bunch of fanatical sectarians.”
Ten days ago, Kikar Shabbos news site reported that minyanim were being held as well as a small Tisch in the main Belzer building in the neighborhood.
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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)
Once the curve has been flattened on the national level, hospitals will be in a better position to assist (ventilate, intubate when possible) individual communities that want to create their own curve, and wipe out a few hundred elderly or otherwise vulnerable, so the kehillah at large could get back to business as usual. Then you seal off the outside world and let them sit in quarantine or whatever they want to do. If it turns out you can get the novel coronavirus again (and why not? the common cold is also a coronavirus and you can catch a cold a few times a year and you don’t seem to get immunity to that coronavirus) and least you chopped in a few minyanim and tishin during the experiment.
Belz is not the “heart the of the Chareidi community”; it is one of many chareidi/chassidish communities, most of whom follow government health guidelines religiously, pun intended. Unfortunately they are reaping what they sowed and hopefully will have learned their lesson, without having endangered too many lives in the process.