Photo Credit: Flash 90
Magen David Adom (MDA) medical team members seen at a new bus, created to evacuate multiple coronavirus patients, in Kiryat Ono, July 16, 2020.

While Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet continues its fierce debate over whether or not to further tighten restrictions on the population to try and stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, the Health Ministry was forced on Wednesday to report its most shocking figures to date.

Within the past 24-hour period, 31 Israelis lost their lives to the virus, raising the death toll to 1,317.

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Even more frightening, perhaps, was the number of still-living Israelis who were diagnosed with the virus; from the 61,165 coronavirus test results obtained on Tuesday, 6,948 came back positive – 14.5 percent – and another record number.
In other words, there were nearly 7,000 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Israel over the past 24 hours, raising the total of number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 203,136.

At present, there are 57,131 active cases of the virus in the country, including a total of 658 Israelis who are listed in very serious condition and of those, 177 patients require ventilator support. Another 263 patients are in fair, or moderate, condition.

Coronavirus Cabinet Undecided After 6 Hours
As of 8 pm Wednesday, six hours after the start of its latest set of deliberations, Israel’s Coronavirus Cabinet had not yet made any decisions on which restrictions – if any – to tighten, despite the obvious seriousness of the situation, and the rapidly rising number of cases of the virus.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists this evening that he said going into the meeting, “We are heading to a full lockdown because of the infections, therefore it is preferred to do it over the holidays, with a lower economic price, and not after the holidays with a high economic price.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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