An 89-year-old Jerusalem woman was fighting for her life Thursday night after contracting the novel coronavirus, the hospital where she is being treated said.
The woman was listed in critical condition after her health deteriorated rapidly, a spokesperson for Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem said late Thursday, putting her at risk of becoming Israel’s first fatality from the virus sweeping the globe.
The hospital said the woman had suffered “rapid respiratory deterioration.”
According to Hebrew media reports, she was one of several people at the Nofim old age home in Jerusalem who have come down with the disease.
Additionally, the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, said Friday morning that the condition of a 91-year-old woman hospitalized there had deteriorated and that she was in very serious condition.
Two more patients at that hospital — a 67-year-old woman with background illnesses and a 45-year-old man without background illnesses — were in serious condition, sedated and on a respirator after their conditions deteriorated as well.
Meanwhile, the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa said the condition of a 70-year-old man with a background illness had deteriorated and that he was in serious condition, sedated and on a respirator.
The disease generally only shows mild symptoms in the young and healthy, but can cause serious respiratory issues and death in older adults and those with underlying conditions.
The Health Ministry said Thursday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Israel had jumped to 677, with six people in serious condition, 13 in moderate condition and the rest doing well. It said 14 people have recovered from the disease.
Worldwide, the death toll has surpassed 10,000 and infections have topped 240,000, including 86,000 people who have recovered, according to tallies early Friday.
All six seriously ill coronavirus patients in Israel are elderly and had existing medical conditions prior to contracting the disease, according to Hebrew media reports on Wednesday.
The situation of a Jerusalem bus driver who was Israel’s first serious case has improved, the Baruch Padeh Medical Center said Friday. He is now displaying only mild symptoms, it said.
Israeli officials have warned recently that the country would likely see its first deaths, and that cases of the sick will climb into the thousands soon.
On Thursday night, the government announced it would be enforcing strict new rules ordering Israelis to remain at home unless absolutely necessary in order to stop the spread of the virus.