8 more virus deaths bring toll to 73; 10 are from Beersheba elder care facility

Two residents of Mishan assisted living home among latest fatalities; 3rd death at Yavne’el nursing home; number of cases rises to 9,404, with 122 on ventilators

Illustrative. Magen David Adom paramedics transferring a man suspected of carrying coronavirus to an ambulance in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, March 31, 2020. (Gili Yaari/ Flash90)
Illustrative. Magen David Adom paramedics transferring a man suspected of carrying coronavirus to an ambulance in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, March 31, 2020. (Gili Yaari/ Flash90)

Israel reported eight new deaths from the coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the number of fatalities in the country from COVID-19 to 7.

At Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, a 97-year-old man and a 96-year-old man died.

According to Hebrew media reports, the two were residents of the Mishan assisted living facility in the southern city, raising the number of people from there who died of the virus to 10.

Later Wednesday, the hospital announced that a man, 63, who suffered from preexisting condition, had also died.

Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv announced the death of two men, a 77 and 75-year-old.

Another victim, a 67-year-old woman, had numerous preexisting conditions, according to Rambam Medical Center. Her husband was also sick and hospitalized elsewhere, though it was unclear from reports whether he also was infected with the virus.

The other fatality was a 85-year-old man being treated at HaEmek Medical Center in the northern city of Afula.

The man, who suffered from preexisting diseases, was a resident of the Yokra assisted living facility in the northern town of Yavne’el. He was the third resident of the facility to die, the Ynet news site reported.

The seventh fatality was a 90-year-old woman who died at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

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 announcement of the deaths came as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel rose to 9,404, an increase of 306 in the past 24 hours.

The Health Ministry said 147 people are in serious condition, 122 of whom are on ventilators.

Another 199 were in moderate condition, with the rest having mild symptoms.

So far, 801 Israelis have recovered from the virus.

On Tuesday, a 37-year-old man died from the virus, the youngest fatality in Israel.

Almost all of those who have died from COVID-19 in Israel have been elderly and suffered from preexisting conditions, according to hospital officials.

While the death toll has continued to steadily climb, experts have pointed to the relatively slow rise in the number of patients on ventilators as a source of potential encouragement.

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. On Tuesday, the number of tests conducted, according to Channel 12, was under 2,000.

It was announced Wednesday that a shipment of tens of thousands of virus tests was arriving from South Korea. However, those supplies would last for only a few days at the rate of testing required.

Magen David Adom medical team members, wearing protective gear, handle a coronavirus test sample at a drive-through site in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2020. (Flash90)

A national lockdown barring intercity travel 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.

Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, director-general of the Health Ministry, said Tuesday that if the coming weeks bring a drop in cases from hundreds to dozens a day, the government will be able to move forward with plans to gradually ease the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

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