Coronavirus cases climb to 1,656, up 214 from Monday night
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Coronavirus cases climb to 1,656, up 214 from Monday night

Over 3,700 tested for virus in previous 24 hours; 49 people have recovered from COVID-19, 31 remain in serious condition

Police officers in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem close shops and disperse public gatherings following government orders in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. March 24, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Police officers in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem close shops and disperse public gatherings following government orders in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. March 24, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The number of diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the country rose to 1,656, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday morning, showing an increase of 214 from the previous night.

So far, 49 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the ministry said in its morning update. One person has died.

Of those being treated, 31 are in serious condition.

Over 71,000 Israelis are in quarantine, down from nearly 75,000 reported on Monday morning. In total, over 135,000 have spent time in self-isolation, almost 6,000 more than the number reported on Monday morning, meaning more people are leaving isolation than entering it.

The rise in cases came alongside a boost in the number of tests for the virus, with 3,743 people tested in the previous 24 hours. On Monday morning the ministry said it had tested 3,230 in the previous 24-hour period.

Tuesday’s increase followed what appeared to be the biggest single-day jump on Monday, when the ministry reported 371 new cases for a total of 1,442. The ministry generally sends out two updates a day, in the morning and at night, and Tuesday’s 12-hour surge of 214 since the previous report could indicate the record will again go up by the end of the day.

Jewish men pray at the Western Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem while adhering to government-ordered social-distancing measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, March 23, 2020. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Israel is in 21st place on a list of cases by countries hit by the virus, according to data from the John Hopkin University virus website, which collates information on the global pandemic. China remains at the top, followed by Italy, the US, and Spain.

Israel is reportedly set to announce drastic new restrictions on public movement it hopes will help stanch the spread of the virus, though policy experts expect any effect to only be seen in 10 days or more.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with officials from the Health and Finance ministries as well as other government departments to review implementation of further isolation orders that Hebrew media reported would include a complete shutdown of the public transportation system and limiting citizens to straying no further than a couple of hundred meters from their homes, unless they are traveling to or from work or buying essential items. All stores will be shut, aside from groceries and pharmacies, according to reports, and police powers to enforce the measures will be ratcheted up.

The Health Ministry has already ordered the public to stay indoors unless necessary and banned gatherings of more than 10 people. Universities, schools, kindergartens, and leisure sites have all been closed.

Israel’s first fatality from the virus, 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Aryeh Even, was buried overnight Saturday in a funeral service that was capped at 20 mourners. All present were required to stand at a two-meter (6.5 ft) distance from one another.

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