Serious Coronavirus Cases Drop Below 400; Only 218 New Cases

YERUSHALAYIM -
Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing seen outside the coronavirus unit at the Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Yerushalayim on October 19. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Health Ministry reported on Sunday morning that the number of serious coronavirus patients in Israel has dropped below the 400 mark for the first time in weeks.

399 patients are suffering from serious symptoms, of whom 176 are ventilated. Israel’s official death toll from coronavirus-related complications has gone up to 2,541.

The ministry said that on Shabbos 218 people tested positive for coronavirus after only 7,946 tests had been conducted, putting the contagion rate at 2.9%.

The infection rate represents a slight increase from the same figure reported over the past few days, which officials estimate is down to limited testing.

In Majdal Shams, a Druze town in the Hermon region, the contagion rate now stands at 13.3%, almost five times higher than the national average. The government has imposed a full lockdown on the town in an effort to bring the infection rate down.

Outgoing coronavirus commissioner Ronni Gamzu told ministers Friday that the closure on Majdal Shams should be extended as infection rates there had not dropped sufficiently. He also proposed that a closure be imposed on the northern Arab Israeli locality of Bu’eine Nujeidat, which has also seen a sharp rise in cases.

Speaking at the meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet, Gamzu said that seven other cities with high infection rates, mostly with majority Arab populations, may need to face similar lockdowns: Taybeh, Kafr Kanna, Manar, Deir al-Asad, Kafr Kassem, Kafr Qara and I’billin.

There are currently 10,473 active coronavirus patients in the country. At least 1,593 of them reside in Yerushalayim, 438 live in Tel Aviv, 379 in Bnei Brak, 264 in Netanya, 244 in Ashdod, 209 in Nazareth, 209 in Haifa, 190 in Petach Tikva, 183 in Be’er Sheva, 173 in Bat Yam, 171 in Holon, 165 in Rishon LeTzion, 142 in Modi’in Illit, 128 in Hadera, 116 in Ashkelon, 113 in Shefar’am, 110 in Acre, 107 in Taibeh, 106 in Umm al-Fahm, 104 in Majdal Shams and 102 in Beitar Illit.