Coronavirus death toll rises to 121, with 11,868 infected

Health Ministry says 181 in serious condition, 136 of them on ventilators; 2,000 have recovered; nearly 10,000 tests administered in 24 hours

A medical team treats a patient with COVID-19 at the coronavirus unit, in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, Israel, April 13, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A medical team treats a patient with COVID-19 at the coronavirus unit, in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, Israel, April 13, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in Israel rose to 121 on Tuesday evening, with the Health Ministry also reporting a jump in the number of daily tests to nearly 10,000.

The latest fatalities were identified as an 86-year-old woman who succumbed to the virus at Ramat Gan’s Sheba Medical Center and an 81-year-old man who died at the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, the ministry said.

Later Tuesday, a 71-year-old resident of a nursing home in Tiberias died due to complications from the coronavirus, the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in the northern city announced, adding that she suffered from preexisting conditions.

In Jerusalem, a 78-year-old man died at the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and a man, 90, died at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The updated ministry figures of 11,868 infections across the country represented a rise of over 600 cases in 24 hours. The ministry said 181 people were in serious condition, 136 of them on ventilators. Another 168 were in moderate condition, with the vast majority displaying mild symptoms.

The ministry said 2,000 have recovered from the virus.

It said 9,459 coronavirus tests were administered between Sunday at midnight and Monday at midnight, marking a significant rise in testing but still falling short of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stated goal of 30,000 daily tests.

Eleven people died Monday from COVID-19 in Israel.

Ministers overnight Monday-Tuesday approved a nationwide lockdown for the end of the Passover holiday and the Mimouna festival, which will see intercity travel banned and bakeries shuttered until Thursday morning, to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

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 on their practice of social distancing and adherence to 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.

Israeli health officials were 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 ventilators 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.

More than 119,000 people have died globally of the coronavirus.

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