Coronavirus death toll rises to 619, recoveries pass 60,000 mark

Coronavirus death toll rises to 619, recoveries pass 60,000 mark

Monday total of 14 fatalities highest since record 15 deaths earlier this month; over 24,000 active cases nationwide

People wearing face masks due to coronavirus outbreak walk in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 10, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
People wearing face masks due to coronavirus outbreak walk in the Old City of Jerusalem on August 10, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 619 Tuesday morning as infections and fatalities showed no signs of slowing down, with new rules coming into effect.

The Health Ministry said that 14 deaths had been recorded Monday, with another two as of 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. The Monday tally was the highest since August 3, when a record 15 people succumbed to the virus.

The total number of cases rose to 85,354, an increase of over 1,800 infections since 24 hours earlier.

The tally of recovered patients topped 60,000 for the first time, with 24,714 cases remaining active.

According to Health Ministry figures, 381 people are hospitalized in serious condition, including 110 patients on ventilators.

Israel recorded the highest number of deaths in a day for over a week, according to Health Ministry figures released Tuesday.

The mid-morning update showed that 973 more people had been diagnosed with the virus since a similar update the night before.

There is currently a total of 24,714 active patients, of which 381 are in serious condition with 110 on ventilators. Of the remaining patients, 182 have moderate symptoms and the rest mild symptoms.

Since the beginning of the outbreak earlier this year, 85,354 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and 60,019 have recovered.

During Monday’s 24 hours, 14 people died of the disease, the highest single-day number since August 3, when 15 people passed away, the ministry figures showed.

In total, 1,641 people were diagnosed with the virus Monday and 22,833 tests were carried out. Of the 21,861 tests from previous days that were processed, 7.5% were found to be positive for the virus.

Jerusalem continued to have the highest number of virus cases in the country with 3,761 active patients, followed by Bnei Brak and Modi’in Illit. Per capita, the worst hit communities are Modi’in Illit with 147 per 100,000 residents, and then the Arab-Israeli town of Qalansawe and the Druze city of Yarka, each with 125 patients per capita, figures showed.

The numbers came as fresh restrictions came into affect that continue to cap gatherings at 20 people outdoors and 10 indoors, limit cars to three passengers at a time, and limit businesses to one customer on the premises for every seven square meters (75 square feet) of space.

Businesses will be prohibited from serving customers who are not wearing masks, must take the temperature of those who ask to enter the premises, and must post signs detailing appropriate behavior.

Shared eating spaces in open-air markets and in shopping malls will be closed. Deliveries must be left outside recipients’ doors.

The new restrictions offer bad news for many business owners, extending the closures of bars, nightclubs, water parks, event halls and other recreational sites.

Israel’s newly appointed coronavirus czar, Ronni Gamzu, unveils his plan to fight the pandemic, at a press conference on July 28, 2020 (screenshot)

On Sunday, the government announced a new framework for reopening theaters, symphonies and cultural events.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this framework, with outdoor venues divided into “capsules” for up to 20 people each, would be instituted immediately, and that a format for indoor events would be “formulated in the coming weeks.”

Many of the restrictions reaffirm existing rules already in place under special emergency powers.

The government’s coronavirus czar Ronni Gamzu said Thursday that Israel’s coronavirus infection rates were the highest in the world relative to population size, and warned that the country could face another nationwide lockdown if daily confirmed cases were not brought down to “hundreds” by September 1.

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