Israel: 17,024 Cases, 284 Deaths, Health Ministry Orders Hospitals To Reopen Coronavirus Wards

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Drive-in testing station in J-m (Magen David Adom spokesperson)

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There are currently 17,024 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Israel, an increase of 44 cases in the past 24 hours, of whom half are students of the Hebrew Gymnasium high school in the Rechavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, where almost 200 students and staff members have been diagnosed with the virus.

The spike of increased coronavirus cases began last week, following almost a week of only a handful of cases each day, and culminated on Shavuos, when 101 cases were diagnosed.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein warned about a possible new lockdown at a cabinet meeting on Sunday, saying that the rate of new coronavirus cases is five times higher than a few days ago. He called on the Israeli public to adhere to health regulations and get tested if they have symptoms of the virus, saying that Israel can test 15,000 people per day.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the meeting that it’s too early to know if the spike will become a trend but emphasized that the economy must remain open.

In the wake of the spike in cases, the health ministry ordered hospitals, several of which have already closed their coronavirus wards due to lack of patients, to reopen their coronavirus wards.

Magen David Adom set up a drive-in testing station in Jerusalem on erev Shavuos due to the spike in new cases in the city and MDA staffers have already tested over 2,000 Jerusalem residents for the virus.

Following reports of a virus outbreak among foreign workers in Tel Aviv, 157 workers were tested for the virus at a “pop-up” testing station in south Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Dozens of more workers wanted to get tested but were turned away after the test kits at the site ran out but were told to return on Monday.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)