Photo Credit: David Cohen / Flash 90
Israelis wearing face masks shop at the market in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat, on June 3, 2020.

A second wave of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus could be growing closer in the Jewish State as the number of new cases diagnosed in Israel grows daily.

Between 7 pm Thursday and 7 pm Saturday evening, 257 new cases of the virus were diagnosed – 144 cases between Friday and Saturday alone — including at least six residents and three staff members in one senior living center in Or Yehuda. The top three cities with the highest spikes in cases, were Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva, according a report Thursday by the Health Ministry.

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At present there are 2,407 active cases in Israel, including 29 who are in serious condition and 23 patients who require ventilator support.

Three more Israelis also died over the weekend — one between Friday and Saturday — bringing the COVID-19 death toll in Israel to 295.

At least 15,050 Israelis have recovered from the virus.

The Health Ministry reported that the number of those being tested has increased – 16,133 on Friday according to Ynet — the highest number in one day since the start of the pandemic, and a good thing because it will help reveal who is infected, who is not, and who has the virus antibodies that confer possible immunity.

Gantz: Live With Corona, Not Under It
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who also serves as Alternate Prime Minister, wrote Friday on his Facebook page, “Until a vaccine is found we will have to focus on the ‘coronavirus routine.’

“We must not tell ourselves stories or myths; we must act responsibly. . . Our motto must be to live with corona, not under it,” Gantz wrote. “We will continue to work hard to restore the damage wrought by coronavirus and its social and economic damage on Israeli citizens. This is our commitment.”

As of Saturday night, the Education Ministry reported that 304 students and faculty were infected with the virus; 13,702 more students and faculty members are in self-quarantine at this point, and 92 schools are closed.

Bar Siman-Tov: Outbreak Magnitude ‘Unknown’
Outgoing Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman-Tov reportedly urged the ministry’s staff Saturday to work under the assumption that Israel is moving into or already in the midst of a new coronavirus outbreak.

Bar Siman-Tov acknowledged the magnitude of this new outbreak is unknown. He also denied calling it “second wave” when asked about his remarks by several journalists, and told Channel 12 news that in fact, a second wave is not inevitable “if we operate properly.”

However, he said, “We are in the midst of a rise in cases. It is definitive, real and tangible and it will take time for us to understand its full extent.”

Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center director Professor Chezi Levi has been tapped to succeed Bar Siman-Tov in the post.

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