82-year-old Israeli tourist dies in Italy after contracting coronavirus
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82-year-old Israeli tourist dies in Italy after contracting coronavirus

Foreign Ministry says Shmuel Sifri was on a cruise with his wife when he was taken ill; prior to announcement Netanyahu expresses condolences over Italy’s ‘catastrophe’ to PM

In this photograph taken from behind a window, doctors work on COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit of San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia, northern Italy, March 26, 2020. (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP)
In this photograph taken from behind a window, doctors work on COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit of San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia, northern Italy, March 26, 2020. (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP)

An 82-year-old Israeli has died in a hospital in Italy after contracting the coronavirus, the Foreign Ministry announced Saturday.

Shmuel Sifri was as a resident of the northern city of Haifa and was said to have died on Thursday, a few days after he was hospitalized.

The Foreign Ministry said Sifri had been on a cruise with his wife when he was taken ill, and that she is now in quarantine on an Italian military base in Turin.

Thirteen Israelis have now died as a result of the coronavirus.

Italy’s civil protection said Saturday that the nation’s death toll from the novel coronavirus shot past 10,000 with 889 new deaths.

The toll in Italy, which has suffered more deaths than any other country, now stands at 10,023. An additional 5,974 infections brought to 92,472 the number of people who have officially tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy since the crisis began last month.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a televised statement on the coronavirus at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on March 16, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Saturday on the phone with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte, his office said in a statement.

Netanyahu “expressed sorrow and condolences on behalf of the Israeli government over the great catastrophe that is befalling Italy,” his office said.

Israel’s Health Ministry announced Saturday evening that 3,619 people have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

That number included 54 patients in serious condition, of whom 43 are attached to ventilators.

Another 81 are in moderate condition and the rest have mild symptoms.

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