Cabinet approves shuttering airport as covid death toll soars

The government Sunday ordered Israel’s international airport shut down from Tuesday midnight until the end of the current lockdown on Jan. 31 in an attempt to seal the country against the incursion of alien covid strains. The airlines were earlier notified to prepare for the ruling. A special panel will deal with requests for exceptions.  The death toll from coronavirus-related illness soared this month to 978 making January the most calamitous month since the outbreak of the virus. The total is now 4,341. At the same time, the R factor has dropped below one in all sectors of the population.  Other figures are fairly stable though still too high: 7,346 new cases in 24 hours, with 8,8pc testing positive and 1,177 in serious condition

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