First death in five days takes Israel’s virus toll to 280
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First death in five days takes Israel’s virus toll to 280

Health Ministry says total number of infections is 16,720, with 14,203 people recovered; 43 in serious condition, 34 of them on ventilators

Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, on March 17, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, on March 17, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Monday morning said that one person had died from COVID-19, Israel’s first fatality in five days, taking the national death toll to 280.

There were no details given on the identity of the deceased.

The total number of infections recorded in Israel since the start of the pandemic was 16,720, an increase of three since Sunday evening, with 14,203 people having recovered.

According to the Health Ministry, 43 people were in serious condition, 34 of whom were on ventilators.

Medical workers stand outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on May 5, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Another 30 people were in moderate condition and the rest had mild symptoms.

The ministry said 3,613 tests were carried out the previous day, far below Israel’s testing capabilities.

Recent weeks have seen a sharp drop-off in the number of new virus cases, with the country lifting restrictions on movement, businesses and educational institutions.

However, a kindergarten teaching assistant in Jerusalem was diagnosed with COVID-19, sending dozens of children into precautionary quarantine, the Jerusalem municipality said Sunday.

The city said the man worked at two private kindergartens that were not run by the municipality, and 30 children and several other teaching staff were sent into isolation until next Sunday after exposure to him.

The statement noted that the man had worn a mask at all times in the classrooms and followed Health Ministry guidelines.

The incident came after dozens of children in several other cities were sent into quarantine Thursday after diagnoses of coronavirus in their midst.

In the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, children and staff from a special education kindergarten were sent into quarantine after a teaching assistant was diagnosed with coronavirus. There were no details on the number of people isolated.

Bnei Brak was an epicenter of the virus outbreak leading to the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city being cordoned off for two weeks last month.

Another kindergarten was closed in the coastal city of Rishon Lezion after an assistant teacher was diagnosed with the virus. The kindergarten’s 20 children were sent into quarantine and the municipality made arrangements for them to all be tested.

In addition, 27 residents and three staff members at the Beit Hanna rehabilitation facility in Rehovot were isolated after a worker there was diagnosed.

The incidents came in the wake of an easing in lockdown measures that saw schools and kindergartens fully reopened last week after two months of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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