37-year-old Israeli dies of virus – the youngest to date – as toll rises to 65
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37-year-old Israeli dies of virus – the youngest to date – as toll rises to 65

Condition of another man, 29, deteriorates; Health Ministry puts number of confirmed cases at 9,248

Illustrative: Magen David Adom medics wearing protective clothing, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus transfer a patient to the new coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on April 6, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative: Magen David Adom medics wearing protective clothing, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus transfer a patient to the new coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on April 6, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Tuesday evening said that Israel’s death toll from the coronavirus had reached 65 — including the country’s youngest victim, a 37-year-old man — an increase of five over the morning’s tally.

According to the ministry, 9,248 people were sick with the virus, 242 more than in the morning. Additionally, 149 patients were in serious condition, including 117 on ventilators. Another 189 people were in moderate condition and 770 had recovered — almost 100 more than in the previous tally — with the remaining patients showing mild symptoms.

The 37-year-old COVID-19 died of the disease at Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva. Officials said he had suffered from multiple, complex preexisting ailments and that he had been hospitalized for about a week.

A 95-year-old woman with underlying health problems succumbed at Haemek Medical Center in Afula, according to the hospital.

Details about the other new fatalities, including where they had been hospitalized, were not immediately available.

Meanwhile, the condition of a 29-year-old coronavirus carrier deteriorated and he was sedated and put on a respirator but with his body reacting well to treatment.

The man had been admitted to Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod after feeling ill for a week.

Three people died overnight after eight fatalities from the virus were reported on Monday and as officials said they were scrambling to secure more medical equipment amid a furious global battle over ventilators, masks, test kits and other essentials in the fight against the virus.

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing with a suspected coronavirus patient outside the new coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, April 3, 2020. (Nati Shohat/ Flash90)

Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov said Tuesday that Israel had secured enough ventilators to bring the country’s count of the machines up to 3,000.

A Knesset report last month said the country had just 1,437 spare ventilators, though the Health Ministry had disputed that number and said 2,864 spare ventilators were available.

Almost all of those who have died from the disease in Israel have been elderly and suffered from preexisting conditions, according to hospital officials.

A top medical expert said Sunday that a slowing in the rise of cases in the past few days was encouraging: New cases had been doubling every six days until recently, he said, and now only every 11 days.

Experts are also pointing to the relatively slow rise in the number of patients on ventilators as a source of potential encouragement.

The Magen David Adom national emergency service drive through test complex in Ashdod on April 1, 2020 (Flash90)

Putting a dent in the optimism, health officials are projecting that Israel will fall short of testing 10,000 people a day for the novel coronavirus in the immediate term because of a shortage of a key reagent.

Still, officials said Sunday that Israel was looking at solutions — including local production of the reagent — that would eventually boost the testing up to 10,000 people a day and beyond.

A national lockdown came into effect Tuesday ahead of the Passover holiday. A full closure will be in effect over the first night of the holiday on Wednesday, to prevent further spread of the virus.

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