First coronavirus fatality reported in Israel

An 88-year-old man with preexisting conditions succumbed on Friday to complications from the coronavirus.

By World Israel News Staff

On Friday, Israel suffered its first coronavirus fatality, 88-year-old Aryeh Even, a Holocaust survivor from Hungary, who passed away at Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem.

Mr. Even arrived at the hospital a week ago in serious condition, according to a statement issued by the Health Ministry.

As of Saturday, Israel reported an additional 178 infections, bringing its total to 883, the second highest number in the region behind Iran, a statistic that appears to be the result of stepped-up testing. According to the Health Ministry, only 15 patients are seriously ill.

More than 17,000 people have been tested in Israel.

On Friday, Israel put into effect emergency measures placing the entire country in home lockdown for at least a week to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.

Israelis can leave their homes to buy food, medicine, and essential supplies

“In the framework of the regulations activities in the public sphere will be reduced and restricted, restrictions have also been set for commercial and leisure activities for a period of seven days,” an official statement said.

“Difficult times require difficult decisions,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night in a nationally televised press conference. “Under these restrictions you, citizens of Israel, are required to stay home. It is no longer a request. It is no longer a recommendation. It is a binding directive that will be enforced by the enforcement authorities.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.