Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90
The Coronavirus ward of the Kaplan Medical Center, in Rehovot

Some 12% of Israelis tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19) returned positive, and Israel will exit the second nationwide lockdown when those numbers drop below 7%, Prof. Itamar Grotto, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Health, told the Knesset’s Corona Committee on Tuesday

The condition for leaving the lockdown is a reduction of about 50% of the verified subjects, Grotto clarified.


Israel has entered a three weeklong lockdown, but it is expected to last even longer and its limitations may be tightened.

375 doctors, 1,280 nurses have recently been hired by the health system, and about 1,500 new beds in 61 Corona departments have been added as well. 34 wards have been converted into Corona wards and 18 are dedicated wards.

Dr. Vered Ezra, head of the ministry’s medical division, added that the growing number of hospitalized Coronavirus patients, some 1,350 on Tuesday, requires the opening of more Corona wards in hospitals.

Director-General of the Ministry of Health Prof. Hezi Levy ordered the hospitals on Monday to cancel all non-urgent activities because of the state of emergency.

Similarly, Minister of Defense Benny Gantz ordered the IDF to open a field hospital for Corona patients.

The Ministry of Health updated Tuesday that it registered 3,858 new cases in the past 24 hours.

A high number of 668 patients are hospitalized in critical condition, of whom 159 are on life support.

According to the data, of the total 193,374 Israelis infected with the virus, 1,285 patients have died since the outbreak of the virus in Israel in February.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.