427 Israelis infected with coronavirus – All 120 Knesset members to be tested
The Israeli Health Ministry announced that the number of infected Israelis is up to 427 cases, including five people in serious condition and 11 who have recovered.
The jump in confirmed cases of the coronavirus is at least partly due to an increase in testing.
A “drive-in” coronavirus testing center opened in Tel Aviv. Anyone wishing to get tested can drive to the station and hand their DNA sample to the medical staff.
A number of Knesset members, including Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and MK’s Ben Barak and Alon Schuster entered quarantine after coming into to close contact with the city of Merhavim’s mayor, who tested positive for the coronavirus.
All 120 of Knesset members will be tested for coronavirus immediately, it was announced Wednesday morning.
Health Ministry director Moshe Bar Siman-Tov said that he fears hospitals may soon be overrun with cases, and professionals will not be able to treat everyone.
“We’ll reach many hundreds of new sick in a day and even more than that,” he warns.
Israelis have been told not to leave their homes unless “absolutely necessary”.
The Health Ministry recommends having groceries delivered to the door and a maximum of 10 minutes outside if going for a walk. Social interactions should be conducted on the phone or by other digital means. Group sports, workout classes, visiting parks, beaches, pools, libraries and museums is now prohibited. Delivery services may only bring deliveries to the front door.
The IDF is drafting new orders that would give it the powers to act to help stem the crisis by assisting Israel’s medical system, possibly setting up hospitals and taking in patients.
It could also put its logistical capabilities, including vehicles, drivers and other facilities at the government’s disposal.
Five weeks after the first confirmed infection in Israel, no Israelis have yet died of the coronavirus.
“We assess that scenarios like in Italy and Spain can happen here too,” the Health Ministry director said. “In the coming days, the rate of new cases will rise — to 100 a day or more. We may come to a situation of hundreds more cases each day. People will die — possibly even in the next few days.”