13 deaths reported Friday as coronavirus numbers continue to climb
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As nationwide lockdown looms

13 deaths reported Friday as coronavirus numbers continue to climb

Health Ministry revises Thursday’s daily record of new coronavirus cases up to 4,217; total infections since start of pandemic now 148,564, of which 35,740 are active cases

Shoppers, some wearing face masks against the coronavirus, crowd Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market on September 11, 2020. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)
Shoppers, some wearing face masks against the coronavirus, crowd Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market on September 11, 2020. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)

The Health Ministry on Friday evening reported 13 more coronavirus deaths since the morning, while revising upward the record number of new infections recorded the day before.

According to ministry figures released before the start of Shabbat, there have been 148,564 cases since the pandemic began, including the single-day high of 4,217 infections recorded on Thursday. Figures put out in the morning had said 4,038 new cases were recorded Thursday.

The ministry said another 2,125 cases had so far been confirmed on Friday.

Of the 35,740 active cases, there were 486 people in serious condition, 146 of them on ventilators. Another 196 people were in moderate condition and the rest had mild or no symptoms.

The 13 further fatalities since the morning raised the national toll to 1,090.

The Health Ministry also said 48,601 tests were performed Thursday.

A member of the Magen David Adom ambulance service performs a swab sample test for coronavirus disease at a drive-thru testing station in the Druze village of Buq’ata in the Golan Heights on September 10, 2020. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

Amid the continued surge in the number of new infections, ministers voted on Thursday to impose a full lockdown nationwide starting next week ahead of the fall holiday period, pending a full cabinet vote on Sunday.

The lockdown will take place in three stages, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Ministry.

The specific dates for each stage have not been announced and the implementation of the second and third rounds of restrictions will depend on the outcome of the previous phase, the statement said.

The first phase of restrictions will be the most severe, but the rules will then slacken if morbidity levels decrease.

The Finance Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office and head of the National Economic Council will put together an “economic safety net” for business owners and members of the public who are expected to experience economic hardship during the lockdown.

Israelis walk on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem on September 11, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On Friday, top business leaders warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a new national lockdown would be disastrous to the local economy and many businesses threatened to defy closure orders and open up anyway.

The initial ministerial vote on the new lockdown plan came amid growing worries of Israel’s health system being overwhelmed by an influx of seriously ill patients.

Coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu told ministers on Thursday he is hoping the impending widespread measures will drop the number of daily cases from their current 3,500 to 600-700 infections — the approximate level Israel was at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

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