There are currently 17,377 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Israel, an increase of 92 cases in the past 24 hours, with 27 in serious condition, of whom 25 are ventilated.
The number of active cases has risen to 2,103. The death toll has risen to 291.
As more and more students and teachers of schools in Jerusalem – most of them in the south of the city – have been diagnosed with the virus, there has also been a rise of coronavirus cases in the capital.
A senior health ministry official told Channel 13 News that Israel is on the verge of a serious coronavirus outbreak, with most of the cases in Jerusalem. The official said that the new cases are not only being diagnosed in students.
The official added that there have been more serious cases in the last few days than in the entire previous month.
As coronavirus cases continue to be diagnosed in students of schools throughout Israel, there’s also growing concern about a rise of coronavirus cases in southern Israel.
“There seems to be a rise of coronavirus infections in the south,” a spokesperson of Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva said. “The new coronavirus ward was populated yesterday and there are currently six patients hospitalized there – two in moderate condition and the others in light condition, including a 5-year-old girl and her mother.”
The relaunching of Israel’s railways, which was scheduled to take place next week, may be delayed for a second time amid the spike in virus cases.
Israel Railways was originally scheduled to relaunch on May 17 but that date was later pushed off until June 1st. Newly appointed Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and Transportation Minister Miri Regev then pushed the date off until June 8th but health officials have expressed concern that the relaunching of the trains will spread the virus further.
Meanwhile, the thousands of people who normally use the trains to get to work are furious over the possible delay.
“Thousands of people who rely on public transport have been denied freedom of movement because of made-up excuses,” Danny, a Haifa resident, told Ynet.
“They’ve opened the beaches, restaurants and even event halls, while people pile on top of each other on buses. Then they talk about postponing the trains because of public health?”
A health ministry official said at a Knesset meeting on Tuesday that the issue will be discussed with the National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday.
At the meeting on Tuesday, an NSC official also raised the issue of the outbreak of the coronavirus among foreign workers in south Tel Aviv, saying that the authorities in charge of the issue are severely understaffed.
“We don’t have enough manpower to deal with the issue like with other populations,” said the official. “We only have one or two people in charge of it in Tel Aviv. This is a demographic that we must address at a national level in regard to the coronavirus so we’ll have the ability to test quickly and carry out epidemiological investigations and get patients out of the crowded area.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)