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New virus cases continue drop with 29 overnight; 2 more deaths take toll to 234

Total national cases at 16,237, of whom 9,858 have recovered; number of patients on ventilators down to 72

A man takes the temperature of a customer to check if she has a fever, at an entrance to the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, May 04, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A man takes the temperature of a customer to check if she has a fever, at an entrance to the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, May 04, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A total of 29 new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed throughout Israel overnight, according to Health Ministry figures released Monday, as the downward trend in infections continued.

Two more patients died overnight, bringing the death toll to 232. The number of patients on ventilators was down by five percent and has now fallen to 72.

The total number of cases since the beginning of the outbreak stood at 16,237 cases, of whom 9,858 have now recovered. Among the 6,145 active cases,  93 were in serious condition and 62 in moderate condition according to the latest ministry update. The rest were mild cases.

After 6,763 tests were carried out Sunday, a further 1,791 were reported Monday morning. The number of tests over a 24-hour period is down from a peak of around 12,000.

Officials have attributed the drop in testing to fewer people exhibiting symptoms and applying.

Last Wednesday, the number of Israelis who have recovered from COVID-19 surpassed those who are sick for the first time since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continues.

In recent days, Israel’s infection rate has dropped off significantly, with the number of new cases over 24-hour periods consistently falling below 200 since last Sunday evening.

The government has recently approved rollbacks of some restrictions imposed as part of a lockdown to curb the outbreak, opening many stores and allowing people to gather for prayer or venture from home for exercise. On Sunday elementary schools reopened in many places around the country for grades 1-3. Others were set to reopen by Tuesday.

The Health Ministry was reportedly considering bringing forward the reopening of shopping malls to as early as Friday, according to Hebrew media. 

Channel 12 reported Sunday that the ministry will recommend an immediate end to the ban on visits to second-degree relatives, including grandparents, and that gatherings of up to ten people could be permitted, with the new directives possibly coming into effect this week.

In all social situations, distancing of two meters must be maintained and masks must be worn, the report said.

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