Israel’s death toll rises to 48 as woman, 98, dies in Jerusalem
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Israel’s death toll rises to 48 as woman, 98, dies in Jerusalem

Shaare Zedek Medical Center says victim was brought to the hospital Saturday in very serious condition, had ‘complicated preexisting diseases’

Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus evacuate a patient with suspicion to coronavirus outside the new coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on April 3, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus evacuate a patient with suspicion to coronavirus outside the new coronavirus unit at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on April 3, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A 98-year-old woman hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem died Sunday afternoon of the coronavirus, the hospital said in a statement.

The woman, who was brought to the hospital on Saturday in very serious condition, had “complicated preexisting diseases,” the statement said, without elaboration.

The results of the test on the woman for COVID-19 came back positive on Sunday afternoon, according to the hospital, which didn’t say whether the result had arrived before or after her death.

There were no immediate details on the woman’s identity.

She is 48th person in Israel to die from the coronavirus, and the fourth on Sunday.

The three Israelis who died earlier in the day are an 84-year-old woman from the Mishan nursing home in Beersheba, the sixth fatality from the same assisted living facility, and a 63-year-old man and 61-year-old woman both said to have had underlying health issues.

The Mishan assisted living facility in Beersheba (Screen grab/Channel 13 news)

The Health Ministry said Sunday that 8,018 people have been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus in Israel, an increase of 429 from 24 hours earlier.

There were 127 people in serious condition and 106 on ventilators, which appeared not to be an increase over figures from Saturday evening. A total of 477 people have recovered from the virus.

With the death toll from residents at the Mishan assisted living facility continuing to rise, relatives of the residents have been saying they are planning to file a lawsuit against the facility’s managers and the Health Ministry for alleged medical malpractice.

“The Health Ministry as a regulator has not supervised and kept watch. They saved money instead of caring for the elderly,” a representative of residents’ families told the Kan public broadcaster Sunday morning.

In total, there have been at least 42 cases of the virus among residents and staff members.

On Saturday, 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Dr. Nelia Kravitz, 88, who worked as a physician at Soroka Medical Center for 20 years, became the fifth victim from the Mishan facility in Beersheba.

The Nofim Tower assisted living center in Jerusalem has also been hard hit by the virus outbreak, with four fatalities from the facility.

In figures released Sunday, the ministry said the highest number of cases across the country was recorded in Jerusalem (1,302), followed by the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak (1,214) and Tel Aviv-Jaffa (359). Bnei Brak, one-quarter the size of the capital by population, was closed off by police on Friday morning to stem the outbreak.

Magen David Adom and Shaarei Tzedek hospital medical workers in Jerusalem, wearing protective clothing, seen with an ultra-Orthodox man at the hospital’s new coronavirus unit on April 2, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A senior Health Ministry official on Saturday called for additional areas in Israel with a high number of cases to be declared restricted zones, allowing the government to further curtail movement in these places in a bid to limit the virus’s spread.

Among the cities the official cited to Hebrew-language media were several with predominantly ultra-Orthodox populations, such as Elad and the West Bank settlement of Modiin Illit, as well as several Haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.

However, Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov also struck a cautiously optimistic note on Saturday, following reports that officials believe the current rate of infection in the country is rising at a relatively controlled rate and shows signs of remaining within levels that the health system can tolerate.

“The fact that we are holding discussions about an exit strategy from the crisis is a privilege,” he said.

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