Number of coronavirus cases up to 2,495, including 41 in serious condition
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Number of coronavirus cases up to 2,495, including 41 in serious condition

126 new cases confirmed overnight as Health Ministry says it conducted over 5,000 tests in past 24 hours; 68 have moderate symptoms

Magen David Adom ambulance workers wearing protective clothing as a preventive measure against the coronavirus bring a woman suspected having the coronavirus to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, March 24, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Magen David Adom ambulance workers wearing protective clothing as a preventive measure against the coronavirus bring a woman suspected having the coronavirus to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, March 24, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Health Ministry said Thursday morning the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Israel has climbed to 2,495, an increase of 126 new cases of the disease since the night before.

There are 41 people in serious condition, up two from Wednesday, the ministry said. Another 68 people are in moderate condition and the rest have mild symptoms.

So far, 66 people have fully recovered from the illness, the ministry said. Five Israelis have died.

In the past 24 hours there were 5,240 tests conducted for the virus and 59,493 people are currently under mandatory home quarantine over concerns they may have been exposed to the virus, the ministry noted.

Staff, wearing protective gear, handle a coronavirus test sample in Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, Jerusalem on March 24, 2020. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The updated ministry figures came after the government tightened lockdown rules and warned violators could face fines and six months of imprisonment.

The emergency regulations, in effect for a seven-day period, include a prohibition on people venturing more than 100 meters from their homes, apart from under certain circumstances, and the shuttering of synagogues.

The regulations (read the full list here) permit Israelis to leave their homes only for essential reasons, including seeking medical care and buying groceries.

In addition, public transportation was reduced to around 25 percent of services and taxis will only be permitted to take one passenger at a time unless the second is an escort for medical reasons. All passengers must sit in the backseat of the vehicle with the windows open.

Restaurant delivery services are allowed to continue; however, takeout is no longer permitted. Shipping and delivery of items bought online can also continue but all packages are to be left outside the door of the residence.

Nonessential stores are to close and parks are to remain shut.

Police patrol on the Tel Aviv beach boardwalk on March 25, 2020. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The government on Wednesday also gave police the power to impose fines of NIS 500 or even imprisonment of up to six months for individuals violating these restrictions, as well as larger fines for businesses who do so, including a NIS 5,000 fine for illegally operating public transportation.

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