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CORONAVIRUS

Chevra Kadisha workers wearing protective clothes, carry the body of a man died from complications of COVID-19 at the Shamgar Funeral Home in Jerusalem on March 24, 2020. 

The number of Israeli coronavirus fatalities rose to five on Wednesday, according to Israel’s Health Ministry, and 2,030 Israelis have so far been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. The two latest fatalities were announced on Wednesday morning. It is unclear if the victims had underlying medical conditions.

Malka Keva, 67, of Bat Yam, succumbed to COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon. Another man, 87, died of the disease several hours later at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center. Both suffered from several serious preexisting conditions, according to the Health Ministry. The country’s first COVID-19 fatality, 88-year-old Jerusalem resident and Holocaust survivor Aryeh Even, died over the weekend at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

According to Hebrew media reports, Even and the unnamed 87-year-old victim lived in the same Jerusalem nursing home, and several other residents have contracted the disease.

Also on Wednesday morning, the Israeli government approved via a telephone vote new, more severe restrictions on the public as part of the country’s effort to curb the outbreak.

Under the new directives, which will go into effect on Wednesday night, Israelis will be required to stay within 100 meters (110 yards) of their homes, on penalty of heavy fines and even imprisonment. Essential services including supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and banks will operate as normal, though they will have to take measures to ensure social distancing instructions are followed.

According to the ministry, 37 of those diagnosed with COVID-19 are in serious condition, 54 are in moderate condition and the rest are experiencing only mild symptoms. Fifty-eight Israelis have recovered.

Over 65,000 Israelis are currently under home quarantine.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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