Israel’s coronavirus death toll reaches 173, but positive trends continue

Number of those infected climbs to 13,654, but the number of people who recovered in the past day was higher than newly infected.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The stringent closures on Israel society appeared to be bearing first fruits as health statistics released Monday showed a continued drop in the number of patients requiring hospitalization.

In its regular morning news release, the Ministry of Health said the number of confirmed infections rose in the past 24 hours by 292 to 13,654, but the number of Israelis who recovered in the same period increased by 308 to 2,872.

The number of those hospitalized with coronavirus dropped to 537, down from a peak of 783 on April 15. Of those hospitalized, 150 patients are in serious condition and 114 of them are breathing with the help of ventilators, down from the April 15 peak of 140 patients who required ventilators.

The death toll climbed to 173 people, including a 90-year-old nursing home patient and a 29-year-old woman who was suffering from a terminal illness but is to date Israel’s youngest pandemic victim.

A slight loosening of strict closure conditions took effect Monday with thousands of stores opening, but restricted to only a few customers at a time. Some large workplaces were allowed to increase staffing to 30 percent of normal, but also under strict conditions of social distancing in offices and factories.

With over a million Israelis newly out of work, roughly one in four of the nation’s workforce, health regulations are still limiting them to stay within 100 meters of their homes except for essential trips to buy groceries and medicine.

Health officials continued to urge those confirmed to be infected to isolate themselves in hotels the government took over and is operating as quarantine centers.

With Israel’s much-vaunted tourism industry shut down by the pandemic, authorities exploited the empty hotels where 2,166 infected people are currently staying until they have been verified to be fully recovered and allowed to return home.

Some 6,710 infected Israelis are under home quarantine, where authorities regularly check up to ensure that they are complying with health rules and not leaving their homes. In some instances police use camera-equipped drones to confirm that the individual coming to a window or balcony in a high-rise building is indeed the infected person.