Israel seeing start of second wave; 1/3 of Tel Aviv cases among illegals

New cases are not in known hotspots, but rather “geographically scattered over a wide area,” the head of Public Health Services said.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israel’s Head of Public Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Prof. Sigal Sadetzky, told Knesset members on Sunday that Israel is “experiencing the start of a second wave.”

Unlike the first wave, when it was possible to track the origin of cases, this time the wave “is across the country,” Sadetzky said. “We don’t exactly know who the risk groups are.”

New cases are not in known hotspots, but rather “geographically scattered over a wide area,” she said.

“I thought maybe the virus would go to sleep in May and that didn’t happen – we’re in a position to sow very dangerous seeds,” Sadetsky added.

According to the latest Health Ministry numbers, as of 7:00 a.m. Israel time on June 15, there were 114 new cases. There are a total of 19,122 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic of which 15,390 have recovered. The total death toll is 302.

In one particularly sad case reported on Monday, a 26-year-old man who had recovered from the disease succumbed to heart complications. Kfar Saba resident Oshri Asulin died of of myocardial infarction after two months at Sheba Medical Center. His lungs had recovered from the disease but it had taken too great a toll on his health.

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The first wave centered on haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, neighborhoods which were slow to respond to health guidelines. This time secular Tel Aviv is the epicenter. When the restrictions dropped, cooped-up city residents rushed out to parks and beaches, often without wearing masks or paying attention to social-distancing rules still in effect.

The city has about 400 cases. Of those, one-third are African illegals centered in south Tel Aviv, Channel 12 reports.

Among schools, Jerusalem has been hit the hardest. Of 506 schools, 183 are closed – 40 percent of them in Jerusalem, 15 percent in Tel Aviv and the rest scattered around the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday, “If we do not see a change in the public’s behavior, the number of sick will continue to increase and we will have no choice but to act.”

“The number of infections continues to be about 200 per day, which is a red light,” he said.