Israel reports surge in serious Covid-19 cases as Defence Minister enters quarantine

By July 08 2020, 13:47 Latest News No Comments

CORONAVIRUSIsrael’s Health Ministry this morning released new figures showing an overnight surge of 21 new serious Covid-19 cases and a new record of 1,320 daily new infections on Tuesday.

The number of total confirmed cases in Israel since the start of the pandemic is 32,714.

The ministry also announced one new death since Tuesday night, bringing the toll to 343, an increase of five in 24 hours. The number of active cases, which was below 2,000 in late May, has climbed to 14,104, a new high.

Today, Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz entered quarantine after coming into contact with a confirmed coronavirus carrier. His office said: “Gantz feels good and will continue to manage the ministry’s matters and the rest of his public work from isolation”.

Israel’s active coronavirus cases have swelled 500% in a single month, with infections confirmed in 262 cities and communities. In an analysis of figures by Haaretz, the report found that the renewed outbreak has hit the country’s Arab community harder than the first wave, and that the number of infections in ultra-Orthodox areas was up as well.

Two weeks ago, the number of serious cases in Israel was at 45. The number now stands at 107. The serious cases included 36 people on ventilators.

According to a top physician, part of the rise is explained by a change in doctors’ definitions, with some staff using a lower bar than previously for classifying patients as serious.

It has been just over a month since Israelis were allowed back to bars, restaurants, beaches and shops.

Israel has been praised for its handling of the virus, managing to bring down the number of daily cases to low double-digits in May, after weeks of a nationwide lockdown. Since reopening the economy, however, the current increase in weekly infections is one of the highest in the world.

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