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Israel completes week with fewer than 50 daily coronavirus infections

Health Ministry numbers stay low though officials fear second wave of infections; 31 new cases in 24 hours bring total to 16,579, with one new fatality; 12,521 have recovered

People walk and shop at the Mamilla Mall near Jerusalem's Old City on May 14, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
People walk and shop at the Mamilla Mall near Jerusalem's Old City on May 14, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel increased by 31 in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed Thursday evening, completing a week of under 50 daily infections.

One new death was recorded, bringing the nation’s toll to 265.

The total number of cases was 16,579, up 12 from the morning’s tally. Of them, 12,521 have recovered from COVID-19, meaning the number of active cases was down to 3,793.

Of those ill with the virus, 60 were in serious condition, 50 of them on ventilators. Another 42 were in moderate condition with the rest displaying mild symptoms, the ministry said.

The reported number of health care professionals in virus quarantine fell drastically, from 267 in Thursday morning’s report to 206 in the evening.

The ministry said 8,156 virus tests were conducted Wednesday, higher than Tuesday’s figure of 7,529 tests. It gave an incomplete figure of 5,296 tests conducted on Thursday.

Israelis at the beach in Tel Aviv flouting the rules aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus. May 12, 2020. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The number of new infections has slowed dramatically in recent weeks. Israel has gone 13 days without seeing over 100 new confirmed cases in a single day.

Amid the sustained drop in infections, the government has increasingly rolled back restrictions meant to curb the outbreak, opening some schools and allowing many businesses to reopen, and was reportedly planning more such measures.

However, authorities were bracing for a possible second wave of infections after thousands of ultra-Orthodox men gathered Monday night and Tuesday in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and Mount Meron to celebrate Lag B’Omer in violation of guidelines.

Hundreds also gathered at a funeral Tuesday for an IDF soldier killed during a West Bank raid. Additional violations have been reported across the country, from passengers crowded on a domestic flight to Eilat to beach-goers who ignored the closure of the shores amid unseasonably sweltering weather.

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