Israeli coronavirus cases rise to 1,656

March 25, 2020 by JNS
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Israel’s Ministry of Health said on Tuesday morning that the number of Israelis diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus has risen to 1,656, an increase of 214 cases since Monday evening.

Israeli police officers enter the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Me’a Shearim in Jerusalem, closing shops and dispersing public gatherings as part of the country’s efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, March 24, 2020. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

According to the ministry, 31 patients are in serious condition, 47 are in moderate condition and 1,528 in mild condition. There have been 49 recoveries and one death.

Meanwhile, the government is expected on Tuesday to approve new, harsher restrictions in its efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

On Monday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered a “dramatic increase in enforcement of orders restricting public movement,” which according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office would be in effect for seven days from the time it is approved.

Following a lengthy meeting with senior Cabinet ministers and health officials, Netanyahu announced that under the new directives, Israelis will be unable to leave their homes, except to purchase food and medical supplies or for vital work. Exercise and dog walking will be limited to a distance of 100 feet to 165 feet from one’s home.

Public transportation will also be significantly reduced and perhaps even stopped completely, while taxis will be allowed to carry a single passenger at a time.

Banks and other vital services will also remain open.

According to Israeli media reports, the Israel Defense Forces is preparing a 2,000-strong force of unarmed troops to help the Israel Police enforce the lockdown.

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