Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90
The department of premature babies at Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, January 5, 2015.

A premature baby at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem contracted the coronavirus, apparently from an employee, Shaare Zedek officials reported on Sunday. They explained that the baby was born two months ago with severe health issues and has since suffered from complications.

As of Sunday, 945 patients have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, one is dead and 20 are in serious condition.

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The Health Ministry confirmed on Sunday that there is widespread infection of the coronavirus in the community. Deputy Director General of the ministry, Professor Itamar Grotto, told Reshet Bet radio that their main goal now is to separate the sick from the healthy.

According to Professor Grotto, the number of daily tests for coronavirus has been increased to between 3,000 and 4,000, and insisted there was no need to increase it to 10,000. Grotto urged the public to think carefully before leaving home, in order to prevent the spread of the virus: “Anyone coming out of the house has to think three times, and only then to decide whether to go out or not,” he said.

Last Friday, Aryeh Even, 88, a resident of Jerusalem, died of the coronavirus at Shaare Zedek Hospital. A Holocaust survivor, Even lived in the Nofim Tower sheltered housing in Jerusalem, where several residents have been infected with the virus after contact with an infected social workers.

Michael Carmon, Aryeh Even’s son-in-law, told Reshet Bet, “We, his children, are sitting shiva alone, each in our homes. We asked friends and relatives not to come, to prevent infection.”

Carmon criticized the health system’s lack of preparedness for the outbreak of the coronavirus, and for not doing enough to protect the elderly population in Israel: “Heroes are fighting here, but the system, same as in the Yom Kippur War, didn’t think ahead enough. They did not manage the risk, nor did they plan scenarios – and these are not even extreme scenarios. We have known for six months that the disease attacks primarily elderly people – what is more clear than to protect the staff who care for the elderly, and close down the nursing homes?”

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