Israel hits another corona record: More than 1,500 new cases in a day
As a result of the spike in cases, the Jerusalem municipality announced that its designated situation room to plan strategies for combating coronavirus will be reopened.
By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN, JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Israel hit a record for the most people diagnosed with coronavirus in a single day, the Health Ministry reported Friday morning.Some 1,504 people tested positive on Thursday, the same day that the government labeled a new group of cities as “restricted zones.” These include areas of Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, Kiryat Malachi, Lod and Ramle.In Jerusalem alone, more than 1,200 were diagnosed last week.As a result of the spike in cases, the Jerusalem municipality announced that its designated situation room to plan strategies for combating coronavirus will be reopened and operational starting Sunday.The situation room will focus on transferring infected patients and their families to coronavirus hotels across the country and will include representatives from the IDF Home Front Command, Israel Police, Magen David Adom, local health funds and relevant community administrations.The purpose of the coronavirus situation room, according to a message issued by the municipality, is to stop the chains of infection and isolate the sick to help prevent further spreading of the virus.As Shabbat exited, the Health Ministry reported the next round of numbers: Some 1,360 people tested positive on Friday and another 643 between midnight and press time on Saturday.AdvertisementThere are currently 134 patients in serious condition, including 49 who are intubated.In total, 37,463 people have been infected with coronavirus in Israel; there are 18,295 active cases.The Health Ministry has predicted that within the next 10 to 14 days, the country will have 400 patients in serious condition, given the large number of people who were infected with coronavirus two weeks prior.However, in general, it appears as if fewer people are becoming seriously ill during the second wave. Some have even purported that the virus has changed and became less deadly.However, Prof. Ran Balicer, a public health physician who serves as founding director of the Clalit Research Institute, told N12 that the virus is the same, rather lower-risk people are contracting the virus. There are fewer elderly infected, he said, because “members of the at-risk population are protecting themselves.”Before Shabbat, the Home Front Command managed to evacuate nearly 40 sick people from Beit Shemesh and relocate them to state-run “coronavirus hotels,” a spokesperson for the city said.However, the fact that the government placed restrictions on so many haredi (ultra-Orthodox) cities caused uproar among haredi leaders.On Friday, MK Yisrael Eichler called upon his fellow haredi MKs to quit the coalition until lockdowns on haredi neighborhoods are lifted, according to Israeli media.Eichler referred to the lockdowns as “selective” lockdowns of haredi neighborhoods and called on ministers from haredi parties to simultaneously quit the government until they are lifted.“That’s the only way for Netanyahu to realize that haredi human rights can’t be ignored,” Eichler said.“The coronavirus does not differentiate between us. It hurts everyone,” MK Rafi Peretz said later in a Facebook post, encouraging unity and compassion.“This is a difficult time, and the State of Israel has been in crisis for several months,” he wrote. “The health and economic uncertainty are very great. No one wants to get infected; we all want to stay healthy, and no one wants to lose their livelihood. The situation we are in is difficult for all of us.“It’s a time to think about each other, to be considerate, to empathize,” he continued, “and to keep the rules for public health. Together, we can beat coronavirus.”The country is continuing to crack down on people who break the Health Ministry directives.Police reported Saturday night that they administered 3,835 tickets to people not wearing masks over the weekend, as well as dozens of fines on restaurants and businesses that were not following Health Ministry guidelines. Some 154 tickets were administered to people who left their restricted zone.On Friday, police dispersed a mass party in the Ben Shemen forest, issuing fines to dozens of participants who were not wearing masks and detaining the party’s organizers, Israel Police said Friday.The party was reportedly attended by hundreds of teenagers, who, after noticing the police officers, started chanting, “Cops! Put your masks on!”Police also found alcohol bottles and drugs suspected to be marijuana at the scene.While many managed to escape, some participants were fined for violating the restrictions and not wearing masks, and the party’s organizers were detained for questioning.Also, on Friday, an adviser to MK Orna Barbivai tested positive for the coronavirus and she and her team entered quarantine.
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