At least 277 people in Israel are infected with the coronavirus as of Monday night, according to the Health Ministry. Five are in critical condition and 11 are in moderate condition.
The spike in numbers may be due to the increased amount of tests for the coronavirus performed on Sunday and Monday.
A department head at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv was diagnosed with the virus, forcing the hospital to transfer all his patients, many of them elderly, to another unit to allow the unit to be disinfected. The unit’s medical staff were ordered to go home and self-quarantine.
An intern at Ichilov who worked in the Urology Department tested positive for the virus on Monday, forcing the hospital to close the unit and send the 40 staff members of the unit into self-quarantine.
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A total of 18 medical professionals have been diagnosed with the virus, most of whom apparently caught the virus from their patients.
According to a Walla report, a senior Health Ministry official slammed the ministry for failing to ensure an adequate supply of protective equipment such as hazmat suits, gloves and masks to protect medial professionals in case of an outbreak.
One of the new diagnosed patients is a senior Health Ministry official, the deputy director of the ministry’s central laboratory at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv. All 18 lab staff members were sent home to self-quarantine, leaving the lab, which had been performing 480 tests every day, unstaffed.
The Health Ministry asked Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem to fill the gap and the hospital stated it would double or triple its current number of tests and is recruiting PhD students and others to increase its staff.
Several government officials are currently in quarantine, including Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Hayat, and Civil Service Commissioner Professor Daniel Hershkowitz.
An Israeli diplomat in Madrid was diagnosed with the coronavirus, the second Israeli diplomat to be infected with the virus, the first one being in Greece.
A Defense Ministry employee who works at the Petach Tikvah office was diagnosed with the virus on Monday. The patient was hospitalized and his co-workers were instructed to enter self-quarantine.
A career IDF soldier was also one of the newly diagnosed patients, the fifth IDF soldier to be diagnosed. There are currently 3,700 IDF soldiers in self-quarantine.
A social worker who was unaware that she was carrying the virus was working in the Migdal Nofim assisted living facility in Jerusalem, causing a series of infections, including three Migdal Nofim employees, two foreign workers and a resident.
One of the nurses who was diagnosed with the virus works at the nearby Nofei Yerushalayim nursing care unit and a fellow nurse was also infected with the virus.
One of the residents at Nofim told the Times of Israel that the 170 residents have been confined to their rooms. The report added that Migdal Nofim CEO Rafi Pollak told Channel 13 on Sunday that the situation at the facility is out of control and he is begging the Health Ministry to intervene.
Pollak compared the facility to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, a ship anchored in a Japanese port due to an outbreak of the coronaviurs which quickly spread throughout the ship, saying: “It’s a losing battle from the get-go.”
On Sunday, a woman who was in self-quarantine went into labor and was admitted to Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. She was brought to the hospital by a special MDA team donned in protective clothing and masks and was taken to a separate building at a distance from the hospital’s labor department.
The woman was kept in isolation throughout except for two midwives who wore protective clothing. Following the birth, the baby was whisked away and placed in isolation and the mother was transferred to an isolation unit, accompanied by a midwife.
Later on Sunday, the test performed on the woman when she was admitted to the hospital showed that she was carrying the coronavirus.
The hospital staff is sharing pictures of the baby with the mother, 35, and the baby’s doctor is keeping in touch with the mother by telephone.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)