Israel goes two weeks with fewer than 200 new COVID-19 infections in any one day

With 18 new cases since Friday evening, country also marks one week with fewer than 100 infections a day; death toll rises to 247 after no fatalities reported in the morning

People wear protective face masks in Tel Aviv on May 8, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
People wear protective face masks in Tel Aviv on May 8, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel on Saturday evening marked two weeks since more than 200 virus cases were recorded in any 24-hour period, with a very low 18 new infections reported over the past day.

It also marked one week since there were more than 100 new cases in any one day.

After the Health Ministry announced no new deaths Saturday morning — the first time there were no fatalities during a 24-hour period since March 28 — the death toll rose by two in the evening to 247.

Of the 4,831 active cases, 79 people were in serious condition, 64 of whom were on ventilators. There were also 49 people in moderate condition, while the rest had mild symptoms.

There have been 11,376 people in Israel to recover from the virus, out of the 16,454 confirmed infections in the country since the start of the pandemic.

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

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.

On Saturday, some 15,000 Israelis visited national parks and nature reserves across the country after they were allowed reopen earlier this week, while on Friday thousands of Israelis flocked to beaches, despite their continued closure.

Malls and outdoor markets were allowed to reopen Thursday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that all lockdown restrictions could be removed by the middle of June and the government on Monday canceled the 100-meter limit on Israelis traveling from their homes for activities deemed nonessential, as well as measures preventing people from visiting with family.

He warned, though, that Israel could have to reassess enforcing social distancing measures if there are more than 100 new coronavirus cases a day, a doubling of cases within 10 days, or over 250 people with serious symptoms in hospitals.

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