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31 new infections recorded over past day; virus death toll rises to 237

Health Ministry says 5,808 Israelis are currently ill with COVID-19, while 10,223 have recovered, including 11-year-old and 16-year-old who had been in serious condition

Medical workers treat a patient at the coronavirus ward at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on May 4, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Medical workers treat a patient at the coronavirus ward at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on May 4, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 31 new coronavirus cases over the preceding 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections in Israel to 16,268.

Three people died from COVID-19 over that period, putting the death toll at 237.

According to the Health Ministry, 5,808 people in Israel were sick with the virus, 89 of whom were in serious condition. Of those in serious condition, 66 were on ventilators.

Another 58 Israelis were in moderate condition and the rest had mild symptoms.

There were 10,223 people in Israel to have recovered from the virus, an increase of 365 since Monday morning.

Among those to recover were an 11-year-old and a 16-year-old who had been hospitalized in serious condition at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

People walk on Jaffa Street in downtown Jerusalem on May 4, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Jerusalem continued to have the most virus cases of any city in the country, with 3,579. It was followed by the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, which has recorded 2,864 infections and has the third highest number of cases in Israel per capita.

The cities with the highest per capita infection rates were Deir al-Asad in the north and the Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev Desert.

The ministry said 8,322 coronavirus tests were performed Monday.

In recent days, Israel’s infection rate has dropped off significantly, with the number of new cases over 24-hour periods consistently remaining below 200 since the start of last week. Since Saturday evening, the highest number of new infections in a day was 84.

Last Wednesday, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the number of Israelis to have recovered from COVID-19 surpassed the number of actively sick.

With the number of new infections dropping, the government has increasingly rolled back restrictions meant to curb the outbreak and on Monday canceled the 100-meter limit that Israelis could travel from their homes if not for a permitted activity.

It also ended restrictions preventing people from visiting with family and approved the reopening of malls and outdoor markets on Thursday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that all lockdown restrictions could be removed by the middle of June.

Israeli police stand guard at a roadblock on a road leading to Ein Hemed, near Jerusalem, on April 28, 2020 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

He warned, though, that Israel could have to reassess enforcing social distancing measures if there are more than 100 new coronavirus cases a day, a doubling of cases within 10 days, or 250 people with serious symptoms in hospitals.

On Sunday elementary schools reopened in many places around the country for grades 1-3. Others reopened on Monday and Tuesday.

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