Number of coronavirus cases jumps to 2,369, including 39 in serious condition
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Number of coronavirus cases jumps to 2,369, including 39 in serious condition

Tally of 439 new cases in last 24 hours slightly smaller than two previous single-day counts

Hadassah Ein Kerem medical team members, wearing protective gear, are handling a coronavirus test sample of Hadassah Ein Kerem workers at the hospital in Jerusalem on March 24, 2020 (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Hadassah Ein Kerem medical team members, wearing protective gear, are handling a coronavirus test sample of Hadassah Ein Kerem workers at the hospital in Jerusalem on March 24, 2020 (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Wednesday evening said the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Israel has climbed to 2,369.

Thirty-nine people are in serious condition, including a 45-year-old man with no underlying health conditions who has been placed on life support at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Another 64 people are in moderate condition.

The death toll from the virus climbed Wednesday morning to five.

The figures showed an uptick of 439 cases, a smaller jump than the two previous 24-hour tallies.

The 39 people in serious condition matched a tally from Wednesday morning.

The updated ministry figures came hours after the government tightened lockdown rules in the country and warned violators could face fines and six months of imprisonment.

The emergency regulation are effective for a seven-day period and include a prohibition on people venturing more than 100 meters from their homes, apart from under certain circumstances, and the shuttering of synagogues.

Israeli border police officers guard on Jaffa street in downtown Jerusalem on March 25, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The regulations (read the full list here) permit Israelis to leave their homes only for essential reasons, including seeking medical care and buying food and groceries.

In addition, public transportation was reduced to around 25 percent of services and taxis will only be permitted to take one passenger unless the second is an escort for medical reasons. All passengers must sit in the back seat of the vehicle with the windows open.

Restaurant delivery services are allowed to continue; however, takeout is no longer permitted. Shipping and delivery of items bought online can also continue but all packages are to be left outside the door of the residence.

Non-essential stores are to close and parks are to remain shut.

The government on Wednesday also gave police the power to impose fines of NIS 500 or even imprisonment of up to six months for individuals violating these restrictions, as well as larger fines for businesses who do so, including a NIS 5,000 fine for illegally operating public transportation.

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