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Despite launching one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, Israel has had to counter a spike in new COVID cases in recent weeks. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

Israel will impose new restrictions in its countrywide lockdown, closing schools and nonessential businesses beginning Friday to combat surging cases of the coronavirus, government ministers voted Tuesday.

The big picture: Israel’s COVID-19 cases, which dropped in October, have jumped to more than 5,000 reported daily in the new year, Johns Hopkins University data shows. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the public Tuesday to heed new restrictions as a faster-spreading variant of the virus first detected in the U.K. multiplies.

Details: Israel is facing its third national lockdown, which started last week, but health officials have called for more restrictive measures, the Times of Israel reports.

  • The latest rules, effective for at least two weeks, will close workplaces except for essential services, restrict travel to a 1-kilometer radius from peoples' homes and limit gatherings to five people indoors and 10 outdoors.
  • Schools other than special education institutions will close.
  • Individuals who have not already purchased plane tickets to travel abroad during the lockdown will not be permitted to fly, per the prime minister's office.

What they’re saying: "We see the coronavirus running amok around the world," Netanyahu said. "The British mutation is out of control."

  • "The Health Ministry and the experts are warning us that we are in an emergency situation and that if we do not act immediately we will lose many hundreds of Israelis — and even more — who will die. We must not allow this to happen, certainly not at the finish line."

Of note: Israel currently leads the world in coronavirus vaccinations.

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20 hours ago - Health

Biden admin to boost COVID vaccine delivery to states for at least 3 weeks

Vice President Harris receives her second COVID-19 vaccine dose in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks, as part of an effort to vaccinate the majority of the U.S. population by the end of this summer.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states across the U.S. say they are running out of vaccines and the country's death toll is sharply rising.

Scammers have stolen over $130 million in coronavirus-related schemes

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress recently proposed a second round of stimulus.