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Coronavirus cases in Israel rise to 11,145 with 105 dead

Number of recovered COVID-19 patients jumps to 1,627; 131 on ventilators

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus seen outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, on April 10, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus seen outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, on April 10, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The number of coronavirus infections nationwide stood Sunday evening at 11,145, the Health Ministry said, representing 402 new cases in the preceding 24 hours.

One hundred and eighty-three people were in serious condition, including 131 on ventilators, and 155 were in moderate condition, the ministry said in its evening roundup.

The death toll, 105, was two more than Sunday morning and four more than the previous evening. Among the latest victims was former Israel chief rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who succumbed to the virus at the age of 79.

The number of Israelis who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease jumped by 264 on Sunday to a total of 1,627, the ministry said.

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)

The country’s health czar on Sunday evening warned Israelis against backsliding from practicing social distancing and observing quarantine restrictions, saying the coronavirus could come back with a vengeance.

“I understand it’s hard to stay at home for so long and the public has proven and is proving its ability to keep to the regulations and protect everyone’s families,” Health Ministry director Moshe Bar Siman-Tov said in a statement.

Sunday’s warm and sunny weather, coupled with the Passover holiday spirit, led many to venture outside, despite restrictions meant to keep people close to their homes and away from others.

Siman-Tov warned that “getting together over the holiday endangers all of our lives. We’ve seen what happened in other countries where discipline flagged and we need to be disciplined the whole time in order to get to those situations.”

Israeli health officials are expecting a surge in coronavirus deaths in the next 10 days, according to a Friday report.

The rise in deaths does not signify an increase in infections, however. Patients who are already hospitalized and on respirators are likely to succumb to the virus in the coming days, according to predictive models from the Health Ministry, Channel 13 reported.

Police officers at a temporary checkpoint near the Old City in Jerusalem on April 10, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Almost all of those who have died from COVID-19 in Israel have been elderly and suffered from preexisting conditions, according to hospital officials. The novel coronavirus has been spreading quickly in nursing homes around the country, raising intense concern for the safety of elderly residents.

Experts have pointed to the relatively slow rise in the number of patients on ventilators as a source of potential encouragement, and also note the relatively slow rise in the number of new cases.

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

Several Jerusalem neighborhoods with high coronavirus infection rates were locked down Sunday afternoon. Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion told Channel 12 news Sunday that at least 2,000 infections had been recorded in his city, which has led the country in the number of cases.

The mainly ultra-Orthodox Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, which is the country’s second most infected community (1,761 cases as of Saturday) despite having a far smaller population, has been closed off from the rest of the country for the past 10 days. On Friday, restrictions were eased somewhat, with residents allowed to travel outside the city for work and some other essential needs.

More than 113,000 people have died globally of the coronavirus.

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