Israeli Coronavirus Cases Jump to 5,358, 15th Fatality

YERUSHALAYIM -
israeli coronavirus cases
Placards in Bnei Brak calling for residents to stay home, Tuesday. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

As of Tuesday night, 20 Israelis have died from the coronavirus, 94 were in serious condition, 76 of them hooked up to ventilators.

Another 105 are in moderate condition, and 224 have fully recovered, according to the Health Ministry.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 5,358, which means 527 cases have been identified since the last update 12 hours earlier, and a jump of 663 cases in the last 24 hours, the largest in one day during the entire outbreak.

The 20th fatality was a 90-year-old man at Wolfson Medical Center who had been sedated and connected to a respirator, officials there said.

Meanwhile, police checkpoints have been set up at the entrances to Bnei Brak to ensure that people were not coming in or out of the city in violation of the Health Ministry restrictions. Besides banning non-essential travel, the Ministry has said this week that cars should not be carrying more than two people.

Bnei Brak has been identified by officials as having an alarmingly high rate of infection, and the government has been seriously considering putting the city on lockdown.

Currently, Yerushalayim has reported 650 cases, the most in the country, with Bnei Brak second with 571, even though it has less than a quarter the population of the capital.

Also on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said it has converted a missile factory into a factory for making ventilators.

The project involves Israel Aerospace Industries and medical firm Inovytec collaborating to manufacture Ventway Sparrow ventilators. Thirty have already been sent to the Health Ministry.

There are an estimated 2,400 breathing machines in the country, which officials fear will soon be insufficient to handle the increasing number of serious cases.

“The State of Israel must develop independent capabilities in everything related to dealing with the COVID-19 virus pandemic. We cannot remain dependent on procurement from other countries,” said Defense Minister Naftali Bennett in a statement.