Number of Israelis with coronavirus jumps to 677

The number of Israelis infected with the coronavirus increased sharply today, with the Health Ministry announcing 148 news cases, bringing the total number to 677.

For the first time, the condition of two Israeli patients is officially described as critical. An 89-year-old woman was admitted to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem on Thursday evening and her condition has deteriorated. The condition of a 91-year-old woman hospitalized in Wolfson Medical Center has also worsened overnight.

Six of the patients are in serious condition, 13 are in moderate condition and the rest are showing moderate symptoms.

Fourteen people have recovered from the coronavirus.

At least 226 patients are hospitalized, 47 are at hotels turned into recovery centers, 68 are being treated at home.

At least 264 patients are still being evaluated to decide whether they will be hospitalized or treated at home.

In recent days Israel has boosted testing for coronavirus from 500-700 tests per day to around 2,200 per day.

PM Netanyahu announced Thursday night the government’s latest guidelines for fighting the coronavirus, including the requirement for Israelis to stay at home, with the exception of buying food, basic essentials, medicine and medical procedures.

Those whose work is defined by the government as “essential” will still be allowed to go to work, carrying an identification card in the case at all times.

The new partial nationwide closures will now be enforced by the police.

“The people of Israel are now ordered to stay in their homes. This is not a suggestion. This is not a recommendation. It is now a command.” The new restrictions will be enforced by the police. It will be put in place for 7 days,” PM Netanyahu said.

“The number of patients increases daily… We might end up with many fatalities,” Netanyahu said, calling on citizens to comply with the new regulations and vowing to expand further the number of tests carried out daily.