TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Most spring days, the crowded beaches of Tel Aviv are abuzz with activity, with runners and cyclists strolling along the boardwalk, exercise enthusiasts carrying weights at outdoor gyms, and constant racking of the paddleball.
The arrival of the new coronavirus and the strict measures imposed to contain its spread changed all that. The beaches are deserted, and authorities have put a red and white tape in gyms and playgrounds to prevent people from touching the devices.RELATED
The beach is the main tourist attraction and the main outdoor space in the city with a population of 450,000 people. It has never been so deserted, even when the country was at war.
Israel has reported more than 700 confirmed cases despite imposing severe travel and quarantine restrictions more than two weeks ago. Authorities recently ordered the closure of all non-essential stores and urged people to work from home.
Tel Aviv, with its technological advancements and laid-back Mediterranean vibe, often feels a world away from Israel’s conflicts with its neighbors, but no place seems to have been exempt from COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 245,000 people and killed more than 10,000 worldwide.
COVID-19 disease causes mild or moderate symptoms for many and the vast majority recover. Some people, especially the elderly or those with previous medical problems, may experience complications such as pneumonia.
Oded Balilty is on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/obalilty.