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Coronavirus: Israel halts commercial activity

View of patrons as they sit at outdoor tables at the Cafe Habima on Ben Zion Boulevard, Tel Aviv, Israel, November 19, 2014. (Photo by Dan Porges/Getty Images)

Israel decided Saturday to halt almost all commercial activity due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Anadolu Agency reports.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the new measures to combat COVID-19 at a news conference.

He said the government decided to close cafes, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and entertainment venues.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and gas stations would remain open and public transportation system will continue as usual.

READ: Palestine declares state of emergency to tackle coronavirus outbreak

Meanwhile, health officials said the number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 193.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 123 countries and territories.

The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 5,300 with more than 142,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

A vast majority of those who become infected recover from the illness.

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