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Only 38 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, as Israel’s death toll reaches 235

Health Ministry reports 10,064 have recovered from disease, 5,947 remain sick, of whom 90 are seriously ill

Medical staff at the coronavirus unit, in Ichilov hospital, Tel Aviv, May 4, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Medical staff at the coronavirus unit, in Ichilov hospital, Tel Aviv, May 4, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Just 38 additional Israelis were found to be infected with the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours, bringing the national total of diagnosed cases to 16,246, the Health Ministry said on Monday evening, as Israel announced a dramatic easing of the social distancing restrictions meant to contain the coronavirus.

Three people died during that period, raising the death toll to 235.

There are 5,947 sick with the COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, of whom 90 have serious symptoms and 70 are on ventilators. Another 60 have moderate symptoms and the rest are mild cases.

Of the 6,436 virus tests carried out over the past day, 0.7% percent returned positive.

So far, 10,064 people have recovered from the disease, the ministry said.

The previous 24-hour period saw only 23 new cases, the lowest daily figure for some six weeks.

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. Last Wednesday, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the number of Israelis to have recovered from COVID-19 surpassed the number of actively sick.

The government on Monday evening approved rollbacks of many restrictions imposed as part of the lockdown to curb the outbreak.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that malls and markets will open on Thursday, under certain restrictions, including no eating in the public spaces.

Netanyahu also ended restrictions preventing people from leaving the immediate vicinity of their homes and visiting with family, and said that all lockdown restrictions could be removed by the middle of June.

The prime minister said that Israel will have to reassess enforcing social distancing measures if there are more than 100 new coronavirus cases a day, a doubling of cases within 10 days, or 250 people with serious symptoms in hospitals.

On Sunday elementary schools reopened in many places around the country for grades 1-3. Others were set to reopen by Tuesday.

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