Amid surging coronavirus figures, the Knesset after midnight Tuesday extended by 45 days the government’s powers to impose restrictions for containing the spread of the virus. The previous decree expired at midnight. The ministerial covid-19 task force meets on Wednesday headed by PM Binyamin Netanyahu to decide on action in view of the latest spike in infection – 258 new active cases in 24 hours to a total of 3,744. This increase is the highest since mid-April, although the numbers of serious cases (39) and patients on ventilators (29) are fairly stable and there were no new deaths over the 302 on Tuesday. Of especial concern are the rising figures in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The authorities are now authorized to impose penalties on people violating face mask and quarantine regulations. Finance Minister Yisrael Katz wants the last sectors still confined – the railway and entertainment and arts – be reopened against objections by the health ministry.