TEL AVIV, April 6 (Sputnik) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday declared a general three-day lockdown starting at 4 p.m. (13:00 GMT) on 7 April to prevent people from traveling to festive meals that are traditionally held on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which starts this Wednesday.

"We saw what happened a month ago. There was an outbreak during Purim [holiday]. I repeat: Passover will not turn into Purim. You should celebrate the holiday only with those with whom you currently live. We are declaring a general quarantine throughout the country. It starts at 4 p.m. tomorrow and will last until Friday, 7 a.m. A curfew is imposed from 6 p.m. on Wednesday to 7 a.m. on Thursday before Passover Seder [ceremonial dinner for the first night or first two nights of Passover]. This is a tight measure, but we have no choice," Netanyahu said during his address to the nation.

The Israeli Health Ministry said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 8,904 as of Monday evening, and 57 patients died of the disease. A total of 607 people across the country have fully recovered.

To date, more than 1.3 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, nearly 74,000 of whom have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.