Israel’s virus death toll rises to 281; fewer than 30 people on ventilators
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Israel’s virus death toll rises to 281; fewer than 30 people on ventilators

Ahead of reopening of restaurants and hotels, Health Ministry says total number of active cases is 2,146, with 41 in serious condition

Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, on March 17, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Technicians carry out a diagnostic test for coronavirus in a lab at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, on March 17, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Monday evening confirmed a second Israeli death from COVID-19 in 24 hours, the first fatalities in five days, bringing the total death toll to 281.

There were no details given on the identities of the deceased.

The total number of infections recorded in Israel since the start of the pandemic was 16,734, an increase of 17 since Sunday, with 14,307 people having recovered.

According to the Health Ministry, 41 people were in serious condition, 29 of whom were on ventilators.

Another 30 people were in moderate condition and the rest of the 2,146 active cases had mild symptoms.

The ministry said 3,613 tests were carried out the previous day, far below Israel’s testing capabilities.

Israelis have picnics on Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, as all restaurants, cafes and bars are still closed, except for take out and deliveries, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. May 20, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

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, a kindergarten teaching assistant in Jerusalem was diagnosed with COVID-19, sending dozens of children into precautionary quarantine, the Jerusalem municipality said Sunday evening. The city said the man worked at two private kindergartens that were not run by the municipality, and 30 children and several other teaching staff were sent into isolation until next Sunday after exposure to him. The statement noted that the man had worn a mask at all times in the classrooms and followed Health Ministry guidelines.

The incident came after dozens of children in several other cities were sent into quarantine Thursday, after diagnoses of coronavirus in their midst.

In addition, 27 residents and three staff members at the Beit Hanna rehabilitation facility in Rehovot were isolated after a worker there was diagnosed.

The incidents came in the wake of an easing in lockdown measures that saw schools and kindergartens fully reopened last week after two months of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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