Number of coronavirus cases in Israel jumps to 70
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Number of coronavirus cases in Israel jumps to 70

Twenty new cases on Tuesday marks largest single-day jump as authorities tighten restrictions on public gatherings in bid to stop spread of COVID-19

Workers wearing protective suits disinfect a bus as a preventive measure amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus, in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Workers wearing protective suits disinfect a bus as a preventive measure amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus, in Tel Aviv on March 9, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Health Ministry late Tuesday sent out additional itineraries of Israelis and tourists who were found to be carrying the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country climbed by 12 to 70 total.

Among those infected are a 9-year-old Tel Aviv boy who had been in Madrid with his family, and a career IDF soldier who had been abroad. Both are in good condition, according to authorities.

It also included a man who flew from New York to Israel on March 2 and had been in direct contact with another person who contracted the virus. Israel only began requiring those coming from the US to quarantine starting on Monday.

The routes released late Tuesday by the ministry showed those infected had visited shopping malls, supermarkets, the US Embassy branch in Tel Aviv and gyms across the country before falling ill, potentially exposing thousands to the disease.

The areas listed in the advisories include Jerusalem, Carmiel and Haifa.

See below for more detailed information about locations visited by infected individuals, or check previous itineraries.

The new details come hours after Israel released information regarding eight other patients found to be carrying the virus Tuesday. Tuesday’s 20 new cases mark the biggest single-day jump since the beginning of the outbreak, as officials struggle to keep the spread of COVID-19 at bay. On Monday, 11 new cases were reported, bringing the total to 50, and 14 new cases were reported on Sunday.

Israel has had no deaths, though a bus driver remains in serious condition in northern Israel.

Health Ministry officials earlier on Tuesday tightened its restrictions on public gatherings, banning all events with more than 2,000 people at urging the public to avoid visits to nursing homes and hospitals, where those most at risk of being seriously harmed by the virus are located.

People wearing face masks for fear of the coronavirus arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, March 10, 2020. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Channel 13 news reported Tuesday that the Health Ministry has ordered 1,000 new respirators, in addition to the thousands in storage in emergency warehouses. According to the report, the move is to prevent a collapse of the health care system in the same way that Italian hospitals have struggled to keep up with the deluge of patients.

The IDF has called up an additional 100 reservists to assist the Magen David Adom ambulance service as the coronavirus spreads, the military said Tuesday. Thus far, approximately 200 reservists have been called up. Approximately 70 of them are assisting the IDF Home Front Command develop educational materials about the disease.

The front seats of a Jerusalem public bus are blocked off on March 10, 2020, as part of preventive measures amid fears over the spread of a new coronavirus. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

On Monday, Israel drastically ratcheted up its efforts to protect the country from the coronavirus threat, requiring all those arriving from abroad to go into quarantine.

All Israeli citizens returning from overseas were ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days with immediate effect. Non-Israeli citizens will be allowed into the country until Thursday at 8pm. But after that, they will be barred completely unless they can demonstrate that they have a place to quarantine here for 14 days.

The move will essentially shut down tourism and send shockwaves through Israel’s already battered travel sector. Israelis who are abroad have been warned they should consider coming back sooner rather than later as increasing numbers of flights to Tel Aviv are being canceled by both El Al and other carriers.

The virus has infected more than 113,000 people worldwide and killed more than 4,000 people, according to the UN’s World Health Organization.

According to the Health Ministry, anyone who was on any of the following flights must go into isolation for 14 days, on top of those who already need to be in quarantine because of previous directives regarding flights from Europe and east Asia:

  • February 29: Pegasus Airlines PC780 from TA to Istanbul departing at 7:20
  • March 2: El Al flight LY2 from New York to Tel Aviv departing at 17:30
  • March 7-8: Pegasus Airlines PC779 from Istanbul to TA departing at 23:10

Furthermore, anyone who was present at the following locations and times must also go into quarantine, the ministry said:

  • Hotel H10 Tenererife Playa from February 22 to February 28
    Clement Hotel Madrid airport on February 29
  • King Store supermarket in Carmiel on March 2 between 10:00 and 12:00
  • Voting station at Yuvalim on March 2 between 12:00 and 12:30
  • Vivino restraunt in Carmiel on March 2 between 13:45 and 16:00
    Diyuk pub and restaurant on Moriyah Boulevard in Haifa on March 3 between 20:00 and 22:00
  • Village Club gym in Misgav on March 3 between 11:30 and 12:00
  • Pizza Metayelet in Rakefet on March 3 between 14:30 and 14:45
  • Rami Levi supermarket in Shaar Binyamin on March 4 between 16:30 and 18:30
  • Village Club gym in Misgav on March 4 between 11:00 and 13:30
  • Tevel restaurant in Village Club gym in Misgav on March 4 between 13:30 and 14:20
  • Swimming pool at Village Club gym in Misgav on March 4 between 14:45 and 15:15
  • Mcdonalds in the Carmiel pedestrian mall on March 4 between 15:30 and 16:00
  • US Embassy in Tel Aviv on March 5 between 10:30 and 12:30
  • Pri and Yerek store on the main road in Tamra on March 5 between 13:30 and 14:00
  • Pizza Metayelet in Rakefet on March 5 between 14:30 and 14:45
    Rom Optic on Moshe Dayan Street in Pisgat Zeev on March 6 between 12:00 and 12:10
  • Maayan 2000 supermarket on Moshe Dayan Street in Pisgat Zeev on March 6 between 12:10 and 12:15
  • Kashtan Deli on Moshe Dayan Street in Pisgat Zeev on March 6 between 12:20 and 12:30
  • Ben Gurion Airport shuttle to long-term parking on March 8 at 01:00
  • Ben Gurion Airport shuttle to long-term parking on March 8 between 17:00 and 17:30
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