Highest number of new COVID-19 patients diagnosed in single day
868 cases registered • Sheba helps Indonesia crack coronavirus • Ministerial Committee names areas of Ashdod, Lod restricted zones
By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN
At the same time as the Health Ministry reported that 868 patients were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in one day on Wednesday, the highest number since the plague came to Israel in February, the country’s largest hospital told The Jerusalem Post it is working with an unlikely counterpart to help crack the crisis.Yoel Hareven, director of the international division and resource development at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, said the hospital is collaborating with a group of private businesspeople from Indonesia who are interested in learning how to use new telemedicine and other technologies to support the country through COVID-19.“This is just the beginning of the connection,” he said.The relationship started from a conversation with an Indonesian journalist, who then connected the hospital to a group of businessmen working on the coronavirus issue in Indonesia, Hareven said. The businesspeople are now bringing in one of Indonesia’s largest public hospitals, he said.According to Worldometer, Indonesia has had 57,770 coronavirus cases and 2,934 deaths.Israel and Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, have endured decades of diplomatic isolation. Since Israel’s founding, the countries have had no formal diplomatic ties, and Indonesia has frequently taken steps to oppose Israel, condemning the “occupation,” the Nation-State Law and, most recently, the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Last year, a small Indonesian trade mission visited Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he hoped the countries could work together. But the Southeast Asian republic said it would not consider such relations until the conflict with the Palestinians was solved.Advertisement“We are mainly speaking about the technologies that we are using here at Sheba in Israel to protect our staff and not expose them to sick people,” Hareven said. This includes Sheba’s telemedicine programs, robots and other digital health innovations that were developed specifically during the coronavirus crisis.In early February, Sheba launched the first known coronavirus telemedicine program in the world.Last week, Netanyahu announced that Israeli research companies and private companies from the United Arab Emirates are working together to combat the pandemic.Hareven said he has seen no shift in the country’s eagerness to partner, despite the spike in coronavirus cases in Israel.Meanwhile, between midnight and press time on Wednesday, some 634 people tested positive for coronavirus, the Health Ministry reported. There are currently 8,271 active cases of the virus in Israel, including 58 patients who are in serious condition. Another person died, bringing the death toll to 321.However, the ministry also conducted the highest number of tests to date on Tuesday: 20,540.At the height of the outbreak in March, some 762 diagnoses were made in a single day. More tests are being conducted than before, which means the country likely will see a higher number of infected people. Of those who were tested in recent days, 4%-5% tested positive, which is considered high.“Red zone” restrictions that were placed on Ashkelon due to high coronavirus infection rates were extended on Wednesday for 24 hours until a final decision is made on the matter.Residents of Bnei Brak’s Yisrael M’salant Street entered quarantine after at least 50 people at the Beit Matityahu Yeshiva were diagnosed with coronavirus on Wednesday. “In order to prevent unnecessary risks, only residents of Yisrael M’salant Street will be allowed passage through the street,” the Bnei Brak Municipality announced.It appears that the yeshiva students were told not to be screened for the virus, N12 television reported.While there has been an improvement in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community regarding the wearing of masks, people are being quietly told by their rabbis not to be tested, Health Ministry senior officials told N12.“This is completely irresponsible,” one official said. “The result is simple: Avoidance will bring closure to the Torah world.”Cities that topped the list on Wednesday were Arara and Rahat in the Negev, Bnei Brak, Yad Binyamin and Baka al-Gharbiya.On Wednesday night, the Ministerial Committee on Declaring Restricted Zones named areas of Ashdod and Lod restricted zones during a late night phone meeting. The decision goes into effect on July 2 at 8:00 a.m. and runs through July 9 at the same time.Karmiel Mayor Moshe Kuninsky entered quarantine on Wednesday after encountering a confirmed coronavirus patient. The head of his office and Eli Sadeh, head of the culture, spokesperson and marketing administration, entered quarantine as well.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
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