Health, Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Israel confirms two more deaths from coronavirus

Israel's death toll from virus rose to five

Abdel-Raouf Arnaout   | 25.03.2020
Israel confirms two more deaths from coronavirus


Israel confirmed two more deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total fatalities to five, according to the health ministry.

A ministry statement cited by the Israel Broadcasting Authority said the total infections rose to 2170 after 240 new cases were detected.

The ministry said 37 patients are in critical condition, while 49 have recovered from the virus.

Israel has taken several measures to stem the spread of the disease, including closing down cafes, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, and entertainment venues.

Last week, the Israeli government decided to track confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients by monitoring their cell phones as part of its fight against the virus.

And today [Wednesday] the authorities approved more restrictions on the movement of individuals following an online meeting by the government.

"Among all of these regulations that will come into effect from 8:00 pm, it will allow citizens to leave homes for only a hundred meters and reduce public transportation to a large extent," the Israel Broadcasting Authority said.

"Only two people will be allowed to ride a vehicle and they will only be transported to work, a grocery store, or a health center with an appointment. A taxi will be allowed to work to transport only one passenger," it added. 

After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 170 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 423,000 while the death toll is nearly 19,000 and nearly 109,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

* Writing by Ali Abo Rezeg and Mahmoud Barakat

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