Gamzu Given “Full Authority,” Death Toll Reaches 440

Prof. Roni Gamzu, the newly appointed coronavirus czar, former Director-General of the Health Ministry. (Flash90/File Photo)

As the Health Ministry reported that the coronavirus death toll reached 440 on Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ said that the newly-appointed coronavirus czar, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, will be granted “all the authority” he requires to bring the pandemic under control.

Apparently addressing reports that Dr. Gabriel Barbash walked away from the appointment on Wednesday over dissatisfaction about his mandate, Netanyahu said that coming decisions on lockdowns and restrictions will be made in accordance with Gamzu’s policies.

Netanyahu also said that he and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have agreed to reduce the size of the coronavirus cabinet in a bid to streamline decision-making.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry statistics show 1,758 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the number of infections since the outbreak in March to 57,453.

The ministry reported seven more fatalities, raising the death toll to 440.

Of the 33,097 active cases, 302 people were in serious condition, the first time that number crossed 300. Another 127 people are in moderate condition and the rest have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.

There are 83 people on ventilators.

The Health Ministry also says 28,711 virus tests were performed yesterday.

In addition, 29 corona hotels are now in operation, a total of 5,517 rooms. Corona patients sent to the hotels are in good condition. Of those, 15 hotels are for chareidi patients and 5 are for those who test negative but require isolation.

The Defense Ministry together with the IDF Home Front Command are in charge of managing the facilities.

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