Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger / Flash 90
Soroka Medical Center medical staff member works at the Coronavirus Dept of Soroka Medical Center, in Be'er Sheva, on September 15, 2020.

Israel’s Health Ministry reported Tuesday that the number of new cases of COVID-19 skyrocketed to nearly five thousand – 4,973 – within the 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday, out of a total of 47,509 tests conducted during the day on Monday.

The spread of the virus is “out of control,” Coronavirus Commissioner Professor Roni Gamzu told Israel’s Kan News Public Broadcasting Network.

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The head of Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the Jerusalem hospital with the highest number of critically ill COVID-19 patients, Ofer Marin, told Kan News on Monday evening that his facility could no longer accept new coronavirus admissions. “I closed the hospital to new patients with coronavirus,” he said. “With a heavy heart, I notified Magen David Adom not to transfer patients to us.”

At present, there are 40,689 active cases of COVID-19 in Israel. Of those, 533 patients are listed in very serious condition, with 140 of those requiring respirator support to survive.

Five Israelis died since late Monday night, raising the death toll to 1,141. Since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a total of 162,273 Israelis contracted the virus.

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