Coronavirus patient, 34, jumps out of hospital window
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Coronavirus patient, 34, jumps out of hospital window

Mental health authorities report a spike in tension and stress as Israelis across the country shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic

Poriya Hospital in Tiberias. (Courtesy)
Poriya Hospital in Tiberias. (Courtesy)

A COVID-19 patient attempted to escape a coronavirus ward at Tiberias’s Poriya Hospital by jumping out of a third-floor window on Tuesday.

According to reports, the patient, an unidentified 34-year old male, was in mild condition prior to his jump, which resulted in serious injuries that will require surgery. He was initially admitted to the hospital following a period of quarantine and had spoken to social workers several times, Channel 12 reported.

“We are repeatedly alerted to the serious mental consequences that may occur following the outbreak of the virus,” Dr. Zvi Fishel, head of the Israel Psychiatric Association, said in a statement carried by the network.

Fishel urged the government to come up with a coordinated response to the potential widespread mental health issues caused by the pandemic and the consequent social distancing regulations, which have seen many Israelis holed up in their homes for weeks.

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing bring a woman suspected of having the coronavirus to Hadassah Hospital Ein Karem in Jerusalem on March 22, 2020. (Flash90)

He also called on the public to contact ERAN, Israel’s only crisis intervention hotline, “as distress and anxiety are natural and common reactions for everyone, but a sense of exceptional suffering deserves attention and professional help.”

Earlier this month ERAN said that it had set up a special hotline dedicated to assisting and counseling those in need due to the coronavirus pandemic and also those who might need help after they self-isolate.

The organization said the hotline has received thousands of calls in recent days from people suffering from stress and other mental difficulties due to concerns about the coronavirus.

On March 16, a man infected with the coronavirus tried to escape from quarantine at the hospital where he was receiving treatment. Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, said the patient had been diagnosed with the virus after returning from a ski vacation in Austria.

“After four days of hospitalization, he violently broke the window and burst through the doors of the quarantine room,” the hospital said in a statement, adding that the incident occurred even though the hospital had supported him and implored him not to violate the quarantine order.

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