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Hospitals to send 140 virus patients to other medical centers to ease crowding

Plan to move the sick from medical centers in Jerusalem and north comes to help mitigate potential congestion, amid increased demand for hospital beds

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 10, 2020. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing outside the coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on September 10, 2020. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Health Ministry said Wednesday that 140 hospitalized coronavirus patients in eight hospitals in the north and the greater Jerusalem area would be transferred to hospitals near Tel Aviv, to help cope with an influx of sick as infections numbers in the country spike.

Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva and Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba will take 140 patients from hospitals located throughout the north of Israel as well as from Jerusalem-based hospitals Hadassah and Shaare Zedek.

Health Ministry figures on Tuesday showed Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Shaarea Zedek and Hadassah Mount Scopus all at or over capacity in their coronavirus wards.

Over 3,150 hospital staff nationwide were stuck in quarantine as of Wednesday evening, according to official numbers.

The transfer of the patients will take place between Wednesday, September 16 to Friday, September 18. In light of the sensitivity of the situation, in which patients are kept away from their families due to the infectious nature of COVID-19, the transferring hospitals will be in touch with relatives throughout the process and receiving hospitals will initiate immediate communication with them upon arrival of the patients.

As of Wednesday, the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus stands at 1,165, with 551 in serious condition, including 137 patients on ventilators.

Meanwhile, 1,163 people have died.

Tuesday saw a record number of 5,494 new cases, ahead of a three-week nationwide lockdown slated to begin on Friday afternoon ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

Fear of overcrowded hospitals being unable to handle the load of virus cases has been cited as a major factor in the government’s lockdown decision.

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