Number of active virus cases in Israel drops to near 2,000
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Number of active virus cases in Israel drops to near 2,000

Health Ministry figures show 23 new infections reported over past day, no new deaths; 33 people on respirators

A security guard asks people to put on face masks at the Mamilla Mall near Jerusalem's Old City, on May 14, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
A security guard asks people to put on face masks at the Mamilla Mall near Jerusalem's Old City, on May 14, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The number of active coronavirus cases in Israel on Tuesday dropped to just above 2,000, with no new COVID-19 deaths recorded over the past the day.

According to Health Ministry figures, there were 23 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of virus cases since the start of the pandemic to 16,757.

Of the 2,019 active cases, 37 people were in serious condition, 33 of whom were on respirators, a slight increase over the day before.

Another 36 people were in moderate condition and the rest had mild symptoms.

The death toll remained at 281 after two new fatalities were reported Monday — the first deaths in five days.

The number of new cases was higher than in recent days, though it was unclear if that was linked to a rise in testing.

The ministry said 5,198 tests were conducted Monday, compared to 3,605 Sunday and 704 Saturday.

Israel is capable of performing some 15,000 tests a day, but has been conducting far less than that of late.

Recent weeks have seen a sharp drop-off in the number of new virus cases, with the country lifting restrictions on movement, businesses and educational institutions.

Restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, swimming pools are set to reopen on Wednesday.

However, in a possibly worrying sign, a number of teachers and staff have tested positive for the virus since schools fully reopened earlier this month following an extended closure, sending dozens of students into quarantine.

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