National death toll from virus rises to 86, with cases at nearly 10,000
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National death toll from virus rises to 86, with cases at nearly 10,000

Seven new deaths from pathogen reported; 121 people on ventilators, while 1,011 have recovered

Illustrative. Magen David Adom paramedics transferring a man suspected of carrying coronavirus to an ambulance in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, March 31, 2020. (Gili Yaari/ Flash90)
Illustrative. Magen David Adom paramedics transferring a man suspected of carrying coronavirus to an ambulance in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, March 31, 2020. (Gili Yaari/ Flash90)

The national death toll from the coronavirus pandemic rose to 86 Thursday night, with seven new deaths reported by the Health Ministry.

Details on most of the deaths were not immediately available, though one was said to be an 89-year-old woman with preexisting conditions who was at Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Tiberius.

Meanwhile, officials reported 213 new diagnosed cases, putting the updated national number at 9,968. Of those cases, 166 were in serious condition, with 121 on ventilators. Another 171 people were in moderate condition, with the rest having mild symptoms. And 1,011 have recovered from the illness.

The novel coronavirus is spreading quickly in nursing homes around the country, raising intense concern for the safety of elderly residents. The Health Ministry said Thursday it was conducting tests over Passover at assisted living facilities where there have been confirmed COVID-19 cases, adding that 3,000 tests were expected to be performed on each of the coming days.

Almost all of those who have died from COVID-19 in Israel have been elderly and suffered from preexisting conditions, according to hospital officials.

While the death toll has continued to steadily climb, experts have pointed to the relatively slow rise in the number of patients on ventilators as a source of potential encouragement.

Putting a dent in the optimism, health officials are projecting that Israel will fall short of testing 10,000 people a day for the coronavirus in the immediate term because of a shortage of a key reagent.

A national lockdown barring intercity travel came into effect Tuesday ahead of the Passover holiday. Separately, a curfew was maintained over the first night of the holiday on Wednesday, to prevent further spread of the virus, and lifted at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Israelis continued to be barred from leaving their hometowns as part of a general lockdown nationwide that won’t be lifted until Friday at 6 a.m. In Jerusalem, which has the most virus cases in the country, residents could not travel beyond the one of seven city designated zones in which they live.

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